Jairam Ramesh rubs Congress the wrong way with shoe-wipe

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Jairam Ramesh
New Delhi, Jul 27: Newly inducted Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh is facing the music for his sweeping act. Yes, you read it right, he has irked Congress party workers when he wiped his shoe with a garland of spun cotton (also referred to as khadi) that was presented to him by party workers in Rajasthan where he was attending a function.

The act has not gone down well with party workers. The incident happened when Ramesh seated on the dais, was presented the garland by Congress office-bearers Rameshwar Dudi and Rampyari Bishnoi on Tuesday. He removed the garland and placed it on the table before him. After some time, he is believed to have picked up one garland and used it to wipe his shoe in full public glare.

AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi has been quoted as saying, "In the life of a nation there are certain symbols and one should be more careful and sensitive about them." The spun cotton hold extreme importance, especially for the Congress party as it was immortalized by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his struggle for independence and was considered India's move towards self-reliance rather than depending on textiles imported from elsewhere.

It was only yesterday that former minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had called the Congress a "circus". The comment received harsh criticism especially from Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari who said, "Unfortunately, Mani Shankar Aiyar has a reputation of being a loose cannon in the deck of Indian politics. He has been a member of the Congress party for a fairly long time and such remarks are absolutely uncalled for."

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