Rahul Gandhi Responds to “Biscuit Controversy,” Asks Why is BJP “Obsessed with Dogs”
NEW DELHI, Feb 6: The former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit back at the BJP leaders who accused him of treating his party workers like dogs. The accusation came from a viral video during Mr Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra” through Jharkhand in which he was seen offering a biscuit to a dog and on its refusal to eat the biscuit from his hand giving the same to a person who the BJP leaders claimed was a “Congress worker” to claim that Mr Gandhi treated the party workers like “dogs.”
The principal critic of Mr Gandhi over the biscuit incident was the Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who equated it with the period when he was a Congress member. He alleged that he too had at one stage felt that the Gandhis were treating the party workers as “dogs” and quit the party to join the BJP.
Responding to the allegations, Mr Gandhi said the man in the video was actually the dog’s owner and not a Congress worker. “The dog was nervous, shivering and when I tried to feed it, it got scared. So I gave biscuits to the dog’s owner and the dog ate them from his hand. I don’t understand what’s the issue,” he said during a media interaction.
Asked about the BJP’s allegations that claimed that the man in the video was a Congress worker, he replied, “No, he was not a Congress worker. I don’t understand the BJP’s obsession with dogs. How have dogs harmed them?”
Earlier, several BJP leaders targeted the Congress MP over the viral video and among them was Mr Sarma, who was earlier in the Congress and had often narrated an incident in which he and other senior Congress leaders had visited Mr Gandhi for a meeting. During the meeting, he said, Mr Gandhi’s pet dog Pidi ate biscuits from a plate. The Congress leaders were then offered biscuits from the same plate, Mr Sarma has claimed in multiple interviews. During these interviews, Mr Sarma has used the alleged incident to bolster his claim that Mr Gandhi was not serious about key party matters. He has also said he left the Congress soon after.
Responding to an ‘X’ user, who had tagged him on the puppy video, Mr Sarma doubled down on his charge. He said “not only Rahul Gandhi but the entire family could not make me eat that biscuit”. “I am a proud Assamese and Indian. I refused to eat and resign from the Congress,” he said. Another BJP leader, Amit Malviya, said “it is natural for a party to become extinct when its prince behaves treats party workers like dogs.”
Addressing the controversy, Mr Gandhi said, “I called the dog and the owner. The dog was nervous, shivering and when I tried to feed it, the dog got scared. So, I gave biscuits to the dog’s owner and the dog ate them from his hand. I don’t understand what’s the issue with it.”
The video, shared on Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra’s X handle, showed Gandhi offering a biscuit to a dog. Later, sharing a longer version of the video — which showed Gandhi handing the biscuit to the person who brought it to him after the dog refused to eat it, the BJP claimed Gandhi actually offered the biscuit rejected by a dog to ‘a Congress worker.’
The owner of the dog, expressing happiness, said, “The dog got clicked with Rahul Gandhi, who also offered it biscuits.”