What if there was a bomb in Rahul's shoe?: Ramesh Bagwe
|By: Chandran Iyer and Vivek Sabnis|| ||Date:
2010-03-18|| ||Place: Pune|
This is the bizarre reason State Home Minister Ramesh Bagwe gave for lifting Rahul Gandhi's shoes during his Mumbai trip
A month after Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe created a controversy by holding the shoes Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had taken off near an Ambedkar statue, the minister has come up with an explanation -- he was afraid terrorists could plant a bomb in Gandhi's shoes if they was left unattended.
MIND IT: Bagwe said the sainiks had no right to criticise him as they pay obeisance to Balasaheb. Pic/Nikhil Ghorpade
Doesn't Sena do it?
Criticised at the time by the Shiv Sena for propagating the 'jee-huzoor culture', the minister now sought to turn the tables on the party, saying the sainiks should first stop touching Bal Thackeray's feet.
"Some parties, especially the Shiv Sena, raised a hue and cry because I held Rahul's shoes. Imagine what would have happened if someone had placed a bomb in them," said Bagwe.
"When Rahul had come to Mumbai, to pay obeisance to Dr Ambedkar's statue at Ghatkopar, there was a huge crowd and I was apprehensive, so as a natural instinct I picked up his shoes."
He added, "I also wanted to ensure the shoes were not pushed towards the statue of Ambedkar, who is our deity."
Training his guns on the Sena, Bagwe said, "What right does the Sena have to criticize my action? Why do the sainiks prostrate themselves before Balasaheb? Is he is a maharaja? Before criticising me they should first stop paying obeisance to Balasaheb."
The minister said people who criticize him should remember that in Ramayana, Bharat had held the shoes of Ram out of devotion. "If I did the same for my party leader what is wrong," said Bagwe. "Besides, Rahul was our guest and Indian culture says guest is akin to god. So, I am proud of what I did."