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Jaitley rakes up Sonia’s origin

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‘Despite my ancestral roots in Punjab, Amarinder calls me an outsider’

Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Arun Jaitley being honoured by a party worker during a martyrdom day event of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Amritsar on Sunday.– Photo: PTI
Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Arun Jaitley being honoured by a party worker during a martyrdom day event of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Amritsar on Sunday.– Photo: PTI

As the war of words between Arun Jaitley and Amarinder Singh escalated, the BJP leader on Sunday took on his Congress rival for calling him an “outsider” to Amritsar by asking which State does his party chief Sonia Gandhi belong.

Angry over Mr. Jaitley “dragging” Mrs. Gandhi into the issue, Mr. Singh retorted by reminding him of the Indian tradition where daughter-in-law is the “real inheritor” of the family legacy.

“Despite my ancestral roots in Punjab, Captain Sahib (Amarinder) called me an ‘outsider’ and a ‘pseudo’ Punjabi.

Will he be kind enough to tell me which State in India does (Congress president) Mrs. Sonia Gandhi belong to?

“Regrettably, he is resorting to his old USP—lower the level of debate through personalised and discourteous language.... I have to resist the temptation of reciprocating in the same manner. However, a polite response is necessary,” Mr. Jaitley wrote on his website.

Taking a dig at Mr. Singh, Mr. Jaitley also said that he had still not come to Amritsar. “But will he ever be available to the people of Amritsar at all. Past experience shows that he has been inaccessible not only to the people but also to his own party leaders including his Ministers. His availability is only for a few hours since otherwise his palace is always inaccessible to the common man,” said the BJP leader.

Mr. Singh soon hit back, saying, “I always thought Mr. Jaitley was a gentleman, but I am sorry to read about his shameless attempts to question the statehood of Mrs. Gandhi when she had nothing to do about what I had said on Saturday in a newspaper interview about Mr. Jaitley.”

“But let me remind Mr. Jaitley of our great Indian culture and tradition which accepts the daughters-in-law as the real inheritors of the house and not the daughters irrespective of which place they come from,” he said in a statement.

“Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was married to late Rajiv Gandhi 45 years ago and she obviously belongs to U.P. and India,” Mr. Singh said.

“Every time you (BJP) have tried to rake up this issue (Sonia’s origin issue) you have badly lost as people of the country have repeatedly rejected your chauvinistic and xenophobic rabble rousing,” he said. - PTI

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