Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday responded to the incident on Tuesday when people who attended his 'khat sabha' in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, later ran away with two thousands that were used in the meeting.
In his response, which is similar to a very famous dialogue from Baazigar, Rahul Gandhi said, "Kisan khatiya le jata hai, to wo 'chor' kehte hain. Magar jab bade bade udyogpati Mallya jaise bhaag jate hain, toh usse 'defaulter' kehte hain (When a farmer takes a cot, he's called a thief. But when big industrialists like Mallya run away, they are called 'defaulter')."
If a Kisan takes a khat he's called a 'chor' but ppl like Mallyaji who run away with crores are called 'defaulters'! pic.twitter.com/iVSUlB6NQT
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) September 7, 2016
We were almost expecting Rahul Gandhi to also say, "Aur haar kar jeetne waale ko Baazigar kehte hain."
The Congress vice-president's response came a day after the Congress' bid to make a splash with Rahul Gandhi's 'Khat Sabhas' as part of a major outreach to farmers ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls left it embarrassed when people attending the inaugural event made away with the cots.
On Tuesday, Rahul had embarked on a 2500 km-long epic 'Kisan Mahayatra' from Deoria in eastern Uttar Pradesh and held the first 'Khat Sabha' (cot meeting) where he interacted with the locals.
Moments after he left having made a raft of promises like farm loan waiver, reduction of power tariff and higher minimum support price for agriculture produce, the venue plunged into utter chaos and men, women and children scampered in, lifted the cots and hurried towards their homes.
There were minor altercations as policemen were seen walking leisurely, stopping none from carrying away the cots.
When asked about it, a villager quipped, "Kya hai ki Rahulji ne hi diya hai (It is given by Rahulji)", even as he gingerly balanced the rally takeaway on his shoulder.
Congress leaders, travelling with the party scion, were quick to deflect criticism over the matter, saying attacking the party on the issue would boomerang on the opposition as these khats still hold importance in the countryside. The party has arranged 10,000 khats for the entire campaign.
"Whoever tries to belittle the issue will do an injustice to the poor villagers. Certain people in this country make away with thousands of crores of rupees and when a few villagers take home a thing as innocuous as a cot, all hell breaks loose. This shows the mentality of the BJP," Congress National Spokesman Meem Afzal said.
With inputs from PTI