BJP president Amit Shah, celebrating his party's gains in the northeast today, took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi, who flew to Italy to be with his grandmother on the Holi weekend. "Italy mein chunao bhi toh hai (Italy is holding elections too)," he quipped at a press conference.
- BJP president Amit Shah takes a swipe at Congress President Rahul Gandhi
- Rahul Gandhi is in Italy to meet his grandmother
- Today's results second big elections since his promotion as Congress boss
As his audience burst into laughter, the BJP chief chuckled, "I got a WhatsApp message that there are elections in Italy. I don't know..."
Rahul Gandhi, who took over as Congress president in December, declared on Twitter on Thursday that he was off to Italy to visit his 93-year-old grandmother. This meant he would not be around for the results of the elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland - the second big day of counting since his promotion. He became Congress president just two days before the Gujarat verdict in December.
"My Nani is 93. She's the kindest soul ever. This Holi weekend I'm going to surprise her! I can't wait to give her a hug....," Mr Gandhi tweeted.
"#HappyHoli to all of you. Have a joyful celebration.," he added.
It is the BJP that is doing the celebrating today, after demolishing the Manik Sarkar-led CPM government in Tripura and pulling ahead in Nagaland with its new ally. It is also in with a chance in Meghalaya. Amit Shah said the Congress had been rejected in all three states.
Last year, Rahul Gandhi celebrated his 47th birthday on June 19 with his grandmother and Sonia Gandhi's mother Paola Maino in Italy.
Sonia Gandhi's Italian roots have often been used by the BJP to target the Congress and the Gandhis.
Amit Shah derided Rahul Gandhi during the Gujarat campaign last year, saying he needed to remove "Italian glasses" and wear "Gujarati glasses" to see the kind of development that had taken place in the state under the BJP.