While the Congress has tried to project Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's image by offering comparisons to her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi, a senior BJP leader found himself courting controversy by making comments that were both personal and racist.
Mansukh Mandaviya, a union minister, targeted Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a public meeting in Gujarat's Anand on Tuesday. Speaking about her resemblance with her grandmother Indira Gandhi, Mr Mandaviya said having identical features does not guarantee a win in elections.
In a comparison which could be viewed as racist, Mr Mandaviya said: "There is word in the Congress party that she (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) has a nose just like her grandmothers (Indira Gandhi), but if one could come to power by having a nose like ones grandmother, then won't there be a president in every household in China?"
Right from the start of her campaign, The Congress has highlighted similarities between Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her grandmother Indira Gandhi. Not just leaders in her party, but Ms Gandhi-Vadra herself reportedly acknowledged that she was "often likened with Indira Gandhi because people loved the former prime minister."
During her recent campaign in UP, she was seen offering flowers at a temple, flanked by priests and security men, her head covered with her saree. The Congress promptly put out a tweet with a throwback photo of Indira Gandhi, almost in an identical setting, with a caption that read "Traditions, rituals never change."
परम्पराएं, रीति-रिवाज़ कभी नहीं बदलते। pic.twitter.com/Rk2TEvcuF2- UP Congress (@INCUttarPradesh) March 18, 2019
Last month, another BJP leader and member of parliament - Harish Dwivedi - had taken a shocking dig at Ms Gandhi-Vadra, invoking her choice of clothes in a demeaning manner. He had said "Everyone knows that when Priyanka Gandhi is in Delhi, she wears jeans and top but dons a saree and sindoor when she comes to the constituencies."
There have been several other occasions when BJP leaders have stirred controversy with their remarks on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. On January 30, BJP MLA Surendra Singh had dubbed the Congress president Rahul Gandhi as "Raavan" and his sister Priyanka Gandhi "Shurpanakha". Days after Priyanka Gandhi's formal entry into politics, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had slammed the Congress for using "chocolaty faces" to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier, on January 25, Bihar minister Vinod Narayan Jha had made a sexist comment calling Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "a very beautiful face with no political achievement."
Priyanka Gandhi joined politics in January and has been given a big task - managing the Congress campaign in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which includes PM Modi's Varanasi. The Congress could manage only two of UP's 80 seats in the 2014 election.
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