Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yesterday’s jibe at a rally in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav retorted the PM with apparently worse barbs. Addressing a public meeting in Rae Bareli, the Samajwadi Party leader lashed out at veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan over his new advertisement promoting tourism in Gujarat. Referring to the ad where Big B invites people for Gujarat tourism, with taking any names, Akhilesh Yadav said that ‘the century’s biggest superstar must stop endorsing Gujarat’s donkeys’. The latest advertisement of Gujarat tourism features many “donkeys” and actor Amitabh Bachchan, the CM said.
As political drama in the state continues with parties targeting each other amid the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Akhilesh Yadav’s seems a bit nervous with his latest jibe at the Prime Minister. And as the UP CM digs out the ‘Gujarat donkey’ issue to target PM Modi, here are 5 things you should know about donkeys of Gujarat and why Amitabh Bachchan promotes them:
1) ‘Gujarat donkeys’ or the Indian wild ass are the subspecies of the onagernative to Southern Asia and were listed as ‘Near Threatened’ by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As per the census in 2015, the population of such species were 4,800 all over.
2) The ‘donkeys’, also known as ‘ghudkhur’ in Gujarati local language, are found in numbers at Gujarat’s Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary. Also known as the Indian Wildlife Sanctuary, it is the largest sanctuary in India.
3) Being quite different from the African wild ass species, the Indian wild ass’ color varies from being sandy to reddish grey, fawn, to pale chestnut. From the back of the head to the neck the animal has a dark mane.
4) Although the animal, in the last century were found at various parts of the country, the majority of them are now just found in parts of Gujarat.
5) The Indian wild ass are one of the fastest animals in India and marks a pace of about 70-80 km per hour.