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Khadi icon row: Rahul Gandhi mocks Vij, says Hitler, Mussolini were “popular brands” too

BJP had quickly distanced itself from Vij's remarks with party leaders claiming that the Haryana minister's remarks were his personal opinion.

By: ANI | New Delhi |
Updated: January 14, 2017 5:11:56 pm
modi, khadi icon, narendra modi photo on khadi, rahul gandhi, prime minister narendra modi, anil vij, harayana minister, BJP, congress, congress vice president, modi photo on khadi,, modi replaces gandhi on khadi, modi charkha photo, bhartiya janata party, india news, modi khadi photo row, indian express Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi (File photo)

Taking a jibe at Haryana Minister Anil Vij for his controversial statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a much bigger brand that Mahatma Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that dictators Hitler and Mussolini were also very “powerful brands.” Posting the link of an ANI video on his Twitter account where Vij made the remark, Rahul wrote saying “Hitler and Mussolini were also very powerful brands”. Minutes after making the controversial comment, Vij retracted his statement saying, “the comment I made on Mahatma Gandhi is my personal opinion. To avoid hurting anyone’s sentiments, I take it back,” he tweeted.

Watch: PM Modi bigger ‘brand name’ than Mahatma Gandhi: Haryana Minister Anil Vij

Vij’s remarks drew flak from the Congress, which said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has always spread hatred, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to end Gandhi’s memory from India.

“The BJP is doing what the Britishers have done. Mahatma Gandhi is the soul of India. One can only expect such kind of objectionable and nonsensical statements from the BJP’s leaders and ministers,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.

Distancing itself from Vij’s comment, the BJP said Mahatma Gandhi is an icon, adding that the saffron party condemns the remark.

“BJP strongly condemns statement of Anil Vij, its his personal remark & not party’s stand. Mahatma Gandhi is our icon,” BJP leader Shrikant Sharma told ANI.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also said, “It is his personal opinion and has nothing to do with the party.”

Amid political uproar over the new Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) calendar featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vij had said that the former is a bigger brand name than Mahatma Gandhi.

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Haryana Minister Anil Vij takes back controversial remarks on Mahatma Gandhi

“Since the time when Gandhi’s name got associated with Khadi…it could not progress. The day Mahatma Gandhi came on the rupee, its devaluation started. Gradually, he will be removed from the notes also. It’s good that Gandhi has been replaced with Modi…Modi is a bigger brand name. After Modi’s association with khadi, there has been 14 percent increase in sale of the products,” he said.

In a major development, Mahatma Gandhi’s picture weaving khadi on a simple charkha, wearing his trademark cloth has been replaced by Prime Minister Modi’s picture in the same classic pose as that of the former in the KVIC diary and calendar.

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