Gadkari equates Vivekananda with 'D'

Gadkari equates Vivekananda with 'D'

Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari, facing corruption charges, has landed in another controversy by comparing Swami Vivekananda’s intelligence with the fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

At a function in Bhopal, while waxing eloquent on Viveka­nanda, Gadkari said: “ In psychology, we measure IQ level of people. But it depends from person to person, in which area they use their intelligence. As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekananda and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been the same. But Vivekananda used it in nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world.”

Though in the event held on Sunday brought him applause by party workers, the comparison did not escape the eye of BJP national executive committee (NEC) member and well-known legal eagle Mahesh Jethmalani.

On Monday morning, Jethmalani shot off a one-line resignation letter: “Dear Nitinji, I deem it morally and intellectually inappropriate to continue to serve on the party's national executive committee as long as you are the president of the BJP. I hereby tender my resignation from the same.”

The one-line resignation letter set off an avalanche with the grapevine in BJP circles floating around that while there were already factional moves inside the party seeking his ouster after his firm “Purti Enterprises,” came under scanner for allegedly routing money through blade companies, the latest controversy may kill his desire to head the party for the second time.

Jethmalani, after despatching his letter to Gadkari, told journalists before flying to Delhi that he cannot continue to be in the NEC of a party whose “president is mired deep in controversies and harming the image of the party.”

Gadkari blamed vested interests for twisting the interpretation of his comparison. He said he was “ not finding comparisons between Swami Vivekananda and Dawood Ibr­ahim. What I said was that how people tend to use their intelligence.”

However, Gadkari who is known for making brazen statements and faux pas in past was even made to pay token compensation to the late Vilasrao Deshmukh by the Bombay High Court, after the latter filed a case for making baseless allegations.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Monday slammed Gadkari for drawing a comparison between the IQ levels of Swami Vivekananda and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, saying that it reflects mentality and thinking of main opposition party and sought an apology.

Attacking the BJP president for his remarks, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said that it was “yet another manifestation of their culture and mentality. How can anyone compare one of India's foremost thinkers with a criminal or with somebody who has clearly dubious and notorious records.”

Tewari further stressed that “it clearly demonstrates the level and thinking and mentality of the BJP.”

Another Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who has been attacking Gadkari for his business deals, also criticised the BJP chief for his remarks. “In a function in Bhopal Gadkari said ‘IQ of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim was same.’ Any comment from (Narendra) Modi and his fans?” Singh wrote on microblogging site.

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