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BJP MP Saroj Pandey calls Rahul Gandhi 'mand-buddhi', sparks row

Saroj Pandey is the Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha MP from Durg in Chhattisgarh.

BJP MP Saroj Pandey calls Rahul Gandhi 'mand-buddhi', sparks row

DURG: Saroj Pandey, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Durg in Chhattisgarh, has called Congress president Rahul Gandhi "mentally weak".

Pandey made the comments in response to Rahul Gandhi's remark on American soft drink giant Coca-Cola's founder. 

Speaking to reporters, the BJP leader said, "The kind of things he (Rahul) says is surprising. He is definitely trying to learn but there is an age to learn. A person who learns after the age of 40 cannot be called learned. Such a person is called mand-buddhi (mentally weak).

She said this in response to Rahul Gandhi's remark that the founder of the international aerated drink brand once used to sell 'shikanji' (lemonade).

Addressing the National OBC (Other Backward Classes) Convention of the Congress party at Talkatora Stadium in the national capital on June 11, Rahul said, "Do you know who was the founder of Coca-Cola? The founder used to sell shikanji."

The Congress chief further claimed that the owner of popular American fast food company McDonald's earlier used to run a 'dhaba' (roadside eatery). Rahul was citing the examples of successful American entrepreneurs to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies.

Saroj Pandey had won the Rajya Sabha election from Chhattisgarh by defeating Congress' Lekhram Sahu in March.

Pandey calling Rahul Gandhi mentally weak has evoked a sharp response from the Congress party, which has demanded that the Durg MP to immediately withdraw her statement.

Since taking over as the Congress chief, Rahul Gandhi has been very vocal about the Narendra Modi government's functioning, policies and public welfare schemes and its key announcements. The Gandhi scion and his party have made a barrage of attack on the BJP-led NDA government over its decision to ban old currency notes of high denomination, implementing the Goods and Services Tax, which he termed as the Gabbar Singh Tax, and farmers' suicide across the country.

Rahul's adverse comments on the NDA regime have evoked an equally befitting response from the members of the ruling coalition led by the BJP.

The two sides - BJP and Congress - have repeatedly attacked each other over pressing issues, and their leaders have often stooped low in criticising their political rivals.