BHOPAL: A viral video showing one of the Congress’ bypoll candidates ridiculing the valour of Rani Laxmibai has rendered ammo to ruling BJP to attack the grand old party ahead of the November 3 election.
The Congress, in its poll manifesto, promised to organize programs in memory of Queen of Jhansi in educational institutions of Madhya Pradesh to instil the spirit of "nationalism" among students.
A purported video (possibly dating back to 2015) showing Congress candidate from Bhander-SC seat of Datia district Phool Singh Baraiya, ridiculing the valour of Rani Laxmibai and questioning the title of Veerangana (adventuress) granted to her by historians, has gone viral over the social media.
In the video, Baraiya, who was the former state BSP, is seen addressing a program, where he questions the Veerangana title for Rani Laxmibai. “The battle against the British was fought in Jhansi, while she died by suicide in Gwalior. How can someone who died by suicide be addressed as Veerangana. If that is the case, daily 10 girls and women die by suicide, they should also be addressed as Veeranganas," he said in the video.
In the same video, Baraiya further adds, “it was our sister Jhalkaribai Kori, who actually fought the British in the battlefield in Jhansi. Instead of fighting the British, she (Rani Laxmibai) had run away from the battlefield with her son, still it’s sung Khoob Ladi Mardani Voh to Jhansi Waali Rani thee".
While the Congress tried to play down the matter by saying it was an old video dating back to 2015, the state BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal asked “We want to know, whether the Congress agrees with the opinion of its candidate or not".
Moreover, a few days back, another video showing Baraiya making objectionable remarks about the upper caste women had gone viral. Probe into the matter revealed that it was too an old video.
In its 52-point Vachan Patra (manifesto), the Congress had promised that if elected to power again, it would organize programs. The manifesto also promised instituting awards in memory of Rani Laxmibai, Rani Durgavati, Devi Ahilyabai and Avanti Bai Lodhi.
The Congress’ new found love for Rani Laxmibai seems to be particularly aimed to target BJP Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia and his erstwhile Gwalior royal family for reportedly ‘siding with the British against the Queen of Jhansi in the 1857 first war for India’s freedom'.