In a recent political rally in Rajasthan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stirred controversy by indirectly attributing India’s loss in the ICC World Cup 2023 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Referring to PM Modi as “panauti,” meaning bad luck, Gandhi’s comments have drawn criticism from BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The World Cup final, where Australia emerged victorious over India, took place at the Narendra Modi Stadium on November 19. Gandhi’s use of the term ‘panauti’ quickly gained traction on social media, sparking a debate on the appropriateness of such language, especially when directed at the Prime Minister.
BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad strongly condemned Gandhi’s choice of words and called for an apology. He questioned the rationale behind using such language for the Prime Minister of India and emphasized the need for responsible political discourse.
“What happened to you, Rahul Gandhi? You are using such words for the Prime Minister of the country. Our Prime Minister met the players and motivated them. Winning or losing is part of the game. Rahul Gandhi needs to apologize,” Prasad remarked, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Prasad went on to suggest that Rahul Gandhi should learn from past instances, referring to an earlier controversial statement made by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul’s mother. “Your mother used the word ‘Maut ka saudagar’ (dealer of deaths) for Narendra Modi, and see where the Congress is now,” Ravi Shankar Prasad added.
The political exchange comes at a crucial time as Rajasthan gears up for state elections scheduled for November 25. Rahul Gandhi’s remarks have injected additional fervor into the election campaign, with the BJP seizing the opportunity to criticize the Congress leader.
While addressing the crowd in Barmer district, Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of bringing bad luck to Team India in the cricket world cup. “Our guys were playing well; they would have won the world cup. But ‘Panauti’ made us lose. The TV guys won’t tell you this, but people know,” Gandhi asserted.
The use of the term ‘panauti’ has sparked debates about the appropriateness of employing such language in political discourse. Critics argue that personal attacks, especially directed at the head of the government, detract from substantive issues and set a negative precedent for political debates.
As Rajasthan approaches its polling day, the political landscape becomes increasingly charged with such verbal duels. The BJP seeks to capitalize on Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, portraying them as disrespectful to the Prime Minister and an example of the Congress party’s divisive rhetoric.
The electoral outcome in Rajasthan will be closely watched, and the ongoing verbal sparring between the BJP and Congress leaders adds an intriguing dimension to the pre-election dynamics.