A controversy was sparked on Friday after Congress president Rahul Gandhi was purportedly seen in a video “disrespecting” the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ during the party’s corner meet in Karnataka’s Bantwal.
According to reports, Rahul asked the singer to finish the national song “in just one line” due to scarcity of time.
As the singer stopped the song abruptly after the first line, people look at each other in surprise. It later emerged that the party leaders reportedly directed her to finish the song in one line.
The video footage was later aired by a local television channel in which Rahul can be seen pointing to his wrist watch to K C Venugopal, AICC general secretary, suggesting that he was running short of time.
Immediately after, Venugopal directed the singer to finish the song in one line.
The BJP slammed Gandhi, saying he does not have respect for the national song, a charge dismissed by the Congress as "absolutely false."
"He (Gandhi) does not have respect for national song. What can we expect from him," tweeted BJP on its handle, after a local TV channel showed a brief video clip of the purported incident even as Congress dubbed it as a "fake video". " " The video showed Gandhi sitting on the dias with senior Congress leaders, including Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and pointing to his watch gesturing something to AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs K C Venugopal, apparently to wrap up quickly. " " A person is then heard telling the singer to "just sing a line (of Vande Matram) and finish it off." As the singer began singing "vande mataram", Venugopal is seen nudging Gandhi to stand up. " " "Seizing on this, BJP tweeted, "Today, RG asked to cut it to just one line, reminding us of INC's total disregard for the song."
The BJP further asked, "Do we need more reasons for Cong Mukth Bharath? Shame on you, RG." Criticising Gandhi's act, BJP said in 1937, Nehru had dropped last three stanzas of Vande Mataram just to pacify Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had said the song irks the Muslims.
Senior BJP leader and union minister Ananth Kumar also took to twitter saying, "Common proud Indians like us say - Janani Janmm Bhumischa Swarga Daapi Gariyasi. Arrogant, Ignorant dynast says "ut short vande mataram.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Gandhi's sense of" entitlement is "appalling and thinks India is his family" property."
"Rahul Gandhi directs to cut Vande Mataram to a single line during a public rally in Karnataka..now this is why we call Him "Sahzada"...His sense of entitlement is appalling. ...thinks this country is family property. can at his wish amend the National Song?," he tweeted.
Another BJP leader D V Sadananda Gowda also said Gandhi does not have respect for national song and what can people expect from him. "He does not have respect for National song. What can we" expect from him," he tweeted.
BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya tagging the video, in a tweet said "Well done Rahul Gandhi."
Former union minister and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla dismissed it as "absolutely false" allegation and called it a "fake video".
"It is the work of theirs to release fake video.Who else believes in Vande Mataram than Congress. The Vande Mataram was started to be sung from 1896 Congress session," he told reporters here in Bengaluru.
The Congress always complied with Vande Mataram. "Each of our session starts with Vande Mataram and ends with national anthem. They teach us Vande Mataram. It is neither sung in their office, nor in RSS headquarters," he said, hitting out at BJP.