"Feet Covered In Mud...": Congress' Nana Patole On Foot-Washing Video Row

Foot Washing Video Row: Nana Patole, however, declared himself unbothered by criticism, and counterattacked by claiming others received similar treatment but were not attacked.

'Feet Covered In Mud...': Congress' Nana Patole On Foot-Washing Video Row

Nana Patole Foot Washing Viral Video: Maharashtra Congress chief was at a party event in Akola district.


Maharashtra Congress boss Nana Patole landed has landed in controversy after a video circulated online showed an unidentified man - believed to be a party worker - washing his feet. The video, shared by news agency IANS, showed Mr Patole sitting in a car as the party worker cleans his feet.

The top Congress leader - who seemed to make no effort to stop the party worker - was in Akola district and reportedly spent the day outdoors, where the ground had turned muddy after rain.

He has since clarified the sequence of events and said it had been blown out of proportion, noting he had asked for some water to wash his feet as they were covered in mud. "I come from a farmer family and am used to having my feet covered in mud... So I had asked a party worker to bring water. He poured it and I washed my feet myself," Mr Patole said Tuesday at a press conference.

But as soon as the video went viral the BJP pounced; Shehzad Poonawalla posted on X about the Congress' "nawabi" and "feudal" mindset. "Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole's gets his leg and feet washed by a party worker... they treat voters and workers like ghulam (slaves) and themselves as kings and queens. Imagine how they treat people without coming to power!"

"What will they do if they by mistake come to power? Nana Patole must apologise and so must the Congress," Mr Poonawalla raged, upping pressure on the Congress and the opposition alliance - which turned the table on his party in the Lok Sabha election - ahead of a state poll later this year.

The BJP's Telangana leader also attacked Mr Patole.

"PM (Narendra) Modiji upholds dignity by not allowing anyone to touch his feet... while Congress leader Nana Patole has karyakartas wash his feet. The deep-seated slavery mindset in Congress starts with the Nehru-Gandhi family and pervades the entire party," the BJP's Shanti Kumar wrote on X.

Mr Patole, however, declared himself unbothered by criticism, and counterattacked by claiming others received similar treatment but were not attacked. He also tossed barbs at federal probe agencies - the ED and CBI, which the opposition has oft accused of targeting its leaders on orders from the BJP, particularly before elections - and attacked the centre over the farmers' protests.

"I am not bothered by such allegations... there were others getting the same treatment. Karyakartas (party workers) were massaging heads and legs... why was that not shown?" Mr Patole hit back.

"The (party) worker was pouring water on my feet as they were muddy. There was no tap..." he said, attacking the ruling alliance of the BJP and splinter factions of the Shiv Sena and NCP groups.

"What about ED and CBI ka keechad on those in power... why is the (central) government not helping farmers escape the karje ka keechad (the debt trap)?" Mr Patole continued.

"Thank you for giving publicity," he also said, appearing to taunt the BJP for its criticism.

The BJP slipped to a big defeat in the 2024 Maharashtra Lok Sabha election. In 2019 the party swept 23 of the state's 48 seats, while the then-undivided Sena, then an ally, picked up 18 more.

READ | "Race Starts Now": Maharashtra Congress On Lok Sabha Poll Win

However, this time - with the Sena and NCP both having splintered, and seen the breakaway factions declared the 'original' by the Election Commission - the opposition INDIA alliance was the big winner.

The INDIA group won 31 seats and that is expected to give it an edge when Assembly polls are held later this year. Days after the bloc's big score Mr Patole said, "The real race starts now..."

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