Lucknow: An ‘aam baat’ from Congress MP Rahul Gandhi snowballed into a political storm on Friday with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath mincing no words in calling Gandhi divisive for having rejected UP’s famous mangoes.
On his way to address a press conference, Gandhi was asked about his choice of mangoes. He stunned many around him when he said: “I don’t like UP aams. I like Andhra’s. It is a matter of taste. Langda is doable. Dussheri is too sweet for me.”
His rejection of UP’s produce did not sit well with the state’s CM.
“Shri Rahul Gandhi ji, your taste is divisive. The entire country is aware of your divisive upbringing. The impact of disruptive values is so strong on you that you have reduced even the taste of fruits to regionalism. But remember, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the taste of India is one,” the CM tweeted in Hindi.
श्री @RahulGandhi जी, आपका 'टेस्ट' ही विभाजनकारी है। आपके विभाजनकारी संस्कारों से पूरा देश परिचित है।आप पर विघटन… https://t.co/R6fiKVJRez— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) 1627054814000
BJP MP from Gorakhpur Ravi Kishan also jumped into the debate, saying that Rahul did not like mangoes from UP and UP did not like Congress.
Gandhi has found himself in the centre of controversy earlier this year as well, when he compared UP unfavourably with Kerala soon after losing the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the Congress bastion of Amethi but winning from Wayanad.
“It is much easier to talk policy in Kerala…simple, straightforward, extremely solid political mobilisation at the grass-roots level. The system responds very quickly. It is not a political war but I love going there. I feel happy, I feel like I’ve come home. There is affection, there is mutual affection,” he had said. Gandhi had added that in UP, there had been a complete break between communities, “no conversation between communities, much more complex negotiations, much harder to get things done, many more fights but potential is huge”.
In February 2021, he said at a rally that he was used to a very different kind of politics when he was an MP from the north. “For me coming to Kerala was very refreshing because suddenly I found that people were interested in issues, and not just superficially but going into details,” he said.