The Congress is under attack from the opposition over media reports that it has punished a senior leader after he allegedly referred on a WhatsApp group to party Vice President Rahul Gandhi as “Pappu”.
Some BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah and other critics of Mr Gandhi, 46, refer to him disparagingly as “Pappu” the kid to suggest he is clueless, usually on social media. Pappu means dud. In AP Lokesh the Son is CM Babu is called as Pappu.
Even Venkaiah chided Rahul as pappu in the parliament during a heated discussion and suggested Pappu-Pappu bait jao. Meaning please sit pappu. Vivek Pradhan, a Congressman in Meerut, said that his messages on a Congress WhatsApp group had been photoshopped to frame him and that he was not given a chance to present his defense to the party. He has been removed as President of the Meerut district and other party posts, according to newspapers.
The Congress has so far not commented on the controversy, but the BJP said that it exposes the party’s sycophancy. “Punishment for ‘Pappu’ followed quickly but there was no penalty for calling the army chief a roadside goon,” said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit used “sadak ke goonde” to refer to the chief of the army, General Bipin Rawat. He said that it was unacceptably to try and “do politics with the army”. However, the BJP has said that Mr Dikshit has been let off with a rap on the wrist and demanded that he be expelled by the Congress. Mr Pradhan, of the WhatsApp controversy, has said he plans to meet Mr Gandhi to offer an explanation.