NEW DELHI: It’s not just ‘suits’ that get you in trouble, so do jackets. Congress president Rahul Gandhi found that out on Wednesday when his choice of outer wear gave the BJP unit in Meghalaya a chance to take a jibe at him.
The Meghalaya unit tweeted a picture of the Congress president wearing a black jacket, which it claimed was a Burberry original. “So, soot (pun intended) boot ki sarkar with ‘black’ money fleeced from Meghalayan state exchequer by rampant corruption? Instead of singing away our woes, you could have given a report card of your inefficient government in Meghalaya. Your indifference mocks us,” the BJP’s Meghalaya unit tweeted. It also tweeted an image of a Burberry jacket, similar to the one that Rahul wore, having a price tag of $995 (around Rs 63,000).
For BJP, it marked an opening to get even with the Congress leader who mocked PM Narendra Modi’s decision to wear a suit embroidered with his name during the visit of then US president Barack Obama. Congress used Modi’s choice of attire for a conversation over tea with Obama to dub BJP “suit boot ki sarkar” in a bid to sharpen its charge of a pro-rich bias.
Rahul had attended a concert in Shillong, apparently to reach out to young voters. Dressed in denim trousers and a black jacket, he urged the youth to love and respect each other to make the country strong.
BJP’s charge that the jacket was bought with black money drew a sharp reaction from the Congress. Rahul tried to dismiss the controversy by later claiming it was a gift. Speaking to a television channel, he said it had been gifted to him, though he didn’t disclose who it was.
Rahul tried to toughen it out by hurling “suit boot ki sarkar” jibe again at the PM at an event in the poll-bound state, saying Modi was always found in the company of people attired in suits and not with the poor. “You will not see him (Modi) hug a poor person, talk to a poor person or even engage with a poor person. You will see him with others. There is a particular distance he maintains with poor people which he does not with Mr Obama or others,” he said.
Congress MP Renuka Chaudhary came to her boss’s defence and alleged that BJP was leading a “suit-boot ki sarkar” at the Centre, and had no moral authority to question Rahul. She said the saffron party was “frustrated” due to Rahul’s “rising popularity”. “Their frustration is directly proportionate to the rising popularity of Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi connects with the young,” Chowdhury said, adding that she could show that the “same jacket” was available for Rs 700.