A viral video from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi in which children are seen abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not gone down well with union minister Smriti Irani. Ms Irani, who is contesting against Priyanka Gandhi's brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the general election, today said that "cultured families should keep their children away from such a person."
"Doesn't Mrs Vadra know that you can't use children for political activity? What values are you giving to children? I would say that cultured families should keep their children away from such a person," Ms Irani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
In the video, where she was campaigning for her brother Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi is seen enjoying the performance of a group of children shouting "Chowkidar Chor Hai". When the children use an abusive word for PM Modi, the Congress leader is seen reacting with shock and then saying: "Not this one. It is not nice. Be good children." The children then switch to: "Rahul Gandhi zindabad."
On Thursday, Priyanka Gandhi accused her critics of "twisting the truth" by circulating an edited clip.
"I'm sorry but I stopped children from saying slogans which I thought were not correct about the Prime Minister... The BJP has edited the tape and made this allegation which is typical of them. Because they twist the truth. I speak the truth," Priyanka Gandhi had told NDTV.
Priyanka Gandhi has been served a notice over the video, for allegedly using children in election campaign.
The NCPCR underlined a 2014 order by the Bombay High Court, which said children should not be included in election campaigns. The body has asked the Congress leader to provide details, within three days, of the names and addresses of these children, places where the slogans were raised and how the children reached there.
With inputs from agencies