'Upadravi Gotra' a Political Metaphor, Says BJP on Anti-AAP Ad Row

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'Upadravi Gotra' a Political Metaphor, Says BJP on Anti-AAP Ad Row

Aam Aadmi Party has accused the BJP of targeting its chief Arvind Kejriwal's caste. (Press Trust of India photo)


New Delhi: 

After controversy over another cartoon for the Delhi elections, days after the BJP said it would focus on a "positive campaign only," the party today said accused the Aam Aadmi Party of giving "casteist meaning" to a metaphor.

AAP has accused the BJP of targeting its chief Arvind Kejriwal's caste or 'gotra' in a cartoon-based ad that shows him threatening to disrupt the Republic Day parade one year and asking for a VIP pass for the next year's parade.

The BJP ad uses the term "upadravi (anarachist) gotra".

"AAP is trying to misconstrue a metaphor used in the political context," said the BJP's Piyush Goyal, insisting that the word "gotra" was not intended to mean caste but to describe "AAPs disruptive politics." The BJP also complained to the Election Commission against the party.

"The BJP targeted my children in their ad, but I kept quiet, didn't react... the BJP has been launching personal attacks on me through their ads, but today they referred to the entire Agarwal Samaj as 'Upadravi', Mr Kejriwal alleged today.

AAP leader Ashutosh demanded that the BJP withdraw the ad "within two hours and apologise or we will be forced to take action, will go to the EC."
 

(The BJP ad targeting AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal)

In a counter attack, Mr Goyal alleged that it is Mr Kejriwal, who has in his campaigns described himself as a "baniya," who has attempted to use his caste to appeal to the trader community, seen as a traditional BJP votebank.

The Agarwals are prominent members of Delhi's powerful and politically active trader community.

The ruling BJP has already been struggling to address the community's misgivings over Foreign Direct Investment in retail. Mr Kejriwal positioning today's ad as an insult to the entire community will add to the BJP's jitters with the Delhi elections just five days away.    

Last week, another BJP ad depicted Mr Kejriwal's children. It also showed Gandhian activist Anna Hazare in a framed photograph with a garland around it.

The AAP chief had  tweeted then, "Nathuram Godse killed Gandhiji on this day in 1948. BJP has killed Anna in its ad today. Shudn't BJP apologise?"

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had stepped in and had the ad withdrawn. He reportedly also insisted that the BJP's new aggressive campaign for the Delhi elections must be positive.

"If the Aam Aadmi Party is born out of politics of negativism then the BJP should not do the same. We have a lot of positives. The BJP should only do positive campaigning is my advice to the party," he said to NDTV.



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