NEW DELHI: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s rejoinder to BJP leader Vinaya Katiyar’s offensive comment about “prettier campaigners” was quick and sharp. “It exposes the BJP’s mindset towards the better half of the population of India,” she scoffed.
Vinaya Katiyar’s comment on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter featuring in the Congress party’s list of campaigners for the Uttar Pradesh election has been widely condemned.
“There are more beautiful star campaigners…heroines, artistes…they are better,” Mr Katiyar, a Rajya Sabha member, said to a question on whether Ms Vadra would make a huge difference to the campaign for the February-March election.
Ms Vadra’s comment was tweeted by one of her aides, Preeti Sahai. “He’s right…they do! And if that’s all he sees in my colleagues who are such strong, brave and beautificl women that have battled through all sorts of hardships to get where they are, then he makes me laugh even more.
Ms Vadra’s name was included in a list of 40 star campaigners that the Congress released yesterday, amid speculation that she is prepping for a bigger role in the party. The 45-year-old has in earlier elections campaigned in the family constituencies of Raebareli and Amethi, but has not held rallies elsewhere.
The party says she may confine her campaign to these two constituencies even this time, but her name is still in the list of speakers for the first set of constituencies that will vote on February 4, which do not include the Gandhi strongholds.
Mr Katiyar’s comment comes after another offensive statement by his fellow parliamentarian Sharad Yadav, a leader of Bihar’s ruling party.
In comments that have been panned widely, Mr Yadav said the honour of a vote is more important than the honour of a daughter.
“If a daughter loses honour, the village loses its honour. But if a vote is sold, the nation will lose its honour,” the 69-year-old parliamentarian said at an event in Patna yesterday.
Mr Katiyar has, incidentally, condemned Mr Yadav’s statement.