Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

'Congress hoodwinks India': BJP reacts sharply after Sam Pitroda reappointed Indian Overseas Congress chairman

Sam Pitroda had resigned from the position on May 8, following controversial remarks he made during the Lok Sabha elections, which the BJP criticized as "racist."

Congress hoodwinks India BJP reacts sharply after Sam Pitroda reappointed Indian Overseas Congress chairman snt
Author
First Published Jun 26, 2024, 9:29 PM IST

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday reinstated Sam Pitroda as the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress. Pitroda had resigned from the position on May 8, following controversial remarks he made during the Lok Sabha elections, which the BJP criticized as "racist." Pitroda is known to be a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, and his resignation had been accepted by the Congress chief.

"Congress president has reappointed Sam Pitroda as chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress with immediate effect," AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said in a statement.

Reacting to Pitroda's reappointment as IOC chairman, BJP's Amit Malviya took to X, formerly Twitter, to stated, "The tormentor of middle class is back… Congress hoodwinks India, brings back Sam Pitroda soon after elections. Hua toh hua."

Sam Pitroda sparked a major controversy during a podcast where he used ethnic and racial identities, such as Chinese, Africans, Arabs, and Whites, to describe the physical appearances of Indians from various regions.

Pitroda, a veteran leader who served as an advisor to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has been closely associated with Rahul Gandhi and has accompanied him on numerous foreign visits. He has also organized several interactions between Gandhi and students at foreign universities in the UK, UAE, and the US.

The BJP seized on Pitroda's remarks, turning them into a poll issue, which compelled the Congress to swiftly distance itself from his comments, labeling them as "most unfortunate and unacceptable."

With election campaigning in full swing ahead of the fourth phase of polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded the BJP's vigorous attack on the Congress, condemning Pitroda's analogy as "racist" and asserting that the public would not tolerate any attempt to insult them based on their skin colour.

During his rallies in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anger over the racial profiling of Indians by the US-based "philosopher and uncle of 'Shehzada'." Modi connected this issue to the Congress' opposition to Droupadi Murmu's presidential candidacy, suggesting that the party viewed her as an "African" due to her dark skin.

In the podcast, Pitroda had said, "We have survived 75 years in a very happy environment where people could live together, leaving aside a few fights here and there."

"We could hold a country as diverse as India together. Where people in the east look like the Chinese, people in the west look like the Arabs, people in the north look like, maybe, white and people in the south look like Africans.

"It does not matter. All of us are brothers and sisters. We respect different languages, different religions, different customs, different food," he had said.

Previously, Pitroda’s mention of inheritance tax in the United States while discussing the Congress' Lok Sabha poll manifesto provided the ruling BJP with ammunition to accuse the opposition of intending to seize citizens' assets as part of its "redistribution of wealth" policy.

The BJP also criticized Pitroda for a history of making "insulting and demeaning" comments, including statements about terrorism and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Pitroda’s "hua to hua" (so what) response to a question about the 1984 communal violence and his "it happens all the time" remark regarding the Pulwama terror attack, both made in 2019 as the country was preparing for general elections, also stirred controversy.

Latest Videos
Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios