NEW DELHI: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah mocked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, alleging that he had talked about “coconut juice made in Manipur” at an election rally in that state on Tuesday, the Congress has highlighted its vice-president’s speech, saying Mr Gandhi said “pineapple juice” and not “coconut juice.”
“You grow lemon, oranges, pineapples here. I want a day when someone will drink pineapple juice in London and see Made in Manipur on the pack,” Mr Gandhi says on the video clip tweeted by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who also said, “Rahul Gandhi’s video is universally available. You must watch it… He didn’t speak about coconuts but about pineapple juice. PM Modi is just making up things.”
At an election speech in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi did not name Rahul Gandhi when he said, laughing, “There is a Congress leader, and I want to pray for his long life… he recently went to Manipur to address an election rally. There he told farmers that he would extract juice from coconuts and send it to London. In fact, a coconut has water, not juice, and it is grown in Kerala.”
He also referred to a speech Mr Gandhi made a few months ago, saying, “It is like setting up a potato factory,” and added, “Such a talented and far-sighted leader he is.”
Mr Gandhi was addressing farmers in UP last year when he had said, “You all are demanding a potato factory in your area, but you should understand I am an opposition leader. I can put pressure on the government, but cannot take the decision. I cannot open a potato factory for farmers”. Social media was unsparing of the Congress leader on both occasions and many jokes were shared.
Amit Shah too mocked Mr Gandhi yesterday, saying in Manipur, “Rahul, pineapple is grown in Manipur, not coconut. Perhaps Mr Ibobi Singh did not write a proper script for you.”
Ibobi Singh of the Congress has been Chief Minister of Manipur for the last 15 years. The BJP hopes to change that in these assembly elections and Mr Shah carried out a door-to-door campaign in Imphal today, urging voters to opt for a change and vote his party in.
Manipur will vote on March 4 and 8, the same days that Uttar Pradesh will vote in its last two rounds in a marathon seven-phase assembly election. Votes will be counted in these states and three others on March 11.