Congress general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Raebareli visit has brought more sorrow than joy to her.
Priyanka was issued two notices -- one from the animal welfare organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the other from child panel, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
PETA raised objections over a video that surfaced online on Thursday. In the video, the Congress leader is seen interacting with snake charmers and helping one of them put away a black cobra into his wicker basket.
The video also showed a curious Priyanka asking one of the snake charmers, "Yeh wala kaat-taa hai? [Does this one bite?]."
Priyanka also held a baby snake in her hand.
To this end, PETA said the video was objectionable on two accounts.
First is a violation of the Wildlife Protection Act. And the second is violation of the model code of conduct (MCC). The Election Commission of India (ECI) had issued a guideline that said no animals could be displayed for any election campaigning.
The NCPCR complained against Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for reportedly making children shout the slogan 'chowkidar chor hai' and a certain abusive word, in an alleged video.
For the unversed, 'chowkidar chor hai' is a common reference used by Congress and its supporters to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi of corruption. 'Chowkidar' is of PM Modi's own accord, as he calls himself the 'chowkidar' of the nation.
In the video, the kids went to hurl abuses at PM Modi. It can be seen, in the video, that Priyanka stopped the children, saying, "Yeh waala nahin [Not this one]."
This purported video was widely shared by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers -- who accused Priyanka of 'using' children for propaganda. The shared video, however, did not have the part where Priyanka asked the kids to not utter the abusive word.
Smriti Irani on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's video with children raising anti-Modi slogans:Doesn't Mrs Vadra know that you can't use children for political activity?What values are you giving to children.I'd say that cultured families should keep their children away from such a person pic.twitter.com/9F0dRjcBPn— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 2, 2019
To this end, Priyanka issued a clarification. She said, "I stopped children from saying slogans which I think weren't correct about the prime minister. BJP edited the tape, removed the part where I was stopping them and they are making this allegation which is typical of them. What they do is twist the truth, what I do is I speak the truth."
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra: I stopped children from saying slogans which I think weren't correct about PM. BJP edited the tape,removed the part where I was stopping them&they're making this allegation,which is typical of them. What they do is twist truth,what I do is I speak the truth pic.twitter.com/cza3zZUKDJ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 2, 2019
The NCPCR, however, did not take this easy and complained to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to ECI on a video in which children were seen using abusive language for PM Modi before Congress General Secretary for eastern UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.— ANI (@ANI) May 1, 2019
Priyanka Gandhi, who made an official entry into politics only recently, has been campaigning for her party across Uttar Pradesh. She had earlier made a visit to Amethi. Both -- Raebareli and Amethi -- are Congres bastions.
The Congress leader was earlier speculated to be slated to take on PM Modi from Varanasi parliamentary constituency. The Congress party, however, later decided to field Ajai Rai from the seat.
The suspense over Priyanka Gandhi's seat continues to make headlines.