‘Gone bonkers’: Rahul Gandhi faces heat from Sachin Pilot loyalist over London remarks

Anirudh is the son of Vishvendra Singh, a minister in the Congress government in Rajasthan which Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot heads.

‘Gone bonkers’: Rahul Gandhi faces heat from Sachin Pilot loyalist over London remarks
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with UK’s Members of Parliament, academics, journalists, community leaders and leaders of the Indian Overseas Congress at the Grand Committee Room, UK Parliament, in London, Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has come under fire from an unlikely quarter over his remarks critical of the Narendra Modi government during his recently-concluded trip to the United Kingdom. Anirudh Singh, the son of Congress leader and Rajasthan minister Vishvendra Singh, took to Twitter to allege that Rahul Gandhi had resorted to “insulting” India on foreign soil.

“He has gone bonkers. Who insults one’s own country in another country’s Parliament? Or perhaps he considers Italy his homeland,” Anirudh said in a tweet, referring to a news report on Rahul’s remarks that “mikes in our Parliament are silenced”. Rahul made the remarks in London while attending a discussion in the Grand Committee Room of the British House of Commons.

“Can he not speak all this garbage in India? Or he genetically prefers European soil?” he said in another tweet tagging a news report on Rahul’s remark that the BJP was not going to eternally remain in power.

Who is Anirudh Singh?

Anirudh, the son of Rajasthan minister Vishvendra Singh, has been a staunch Sachin Pilot loyalist. According to his Twitter profile, he has completed his graduation and post-graduation from a London-based university. “Sachin Pilot school of thought on most matters surrounding Rajasthan,” reads his Twitter bio.

Besides being a minister’s son, Anirudh is the scion of the erstwhile royal family of Bharatpur which traces its lineage from the 18th-century Jat ruler Maharaja Surajmal, who was said to have established the kingdom of Bharatpur.

His father, Vishvendra, was among the most prominent faces when Sachin Pilot rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and camped with his supporters in Gurgaon, Haryana in 2020. After being briefly stripped of his portfolio over his rebellion, Vishvendra was reinstated as the Tourism minister after the rebellion failed. The minister is believed to have gotten closer to Gehlot than Pilot since his reinduction into the state Cabinet.

Anirudh: No stranger to controversy

In May 2021, Anirudh sparked a row when he accused his father of turning alcoholic and being “violent” against his mother. ““I have not been in touch with my father for 6 weeks now. He has turned violent toward my mother, collected debt, turned [to] alcohol, and destroyed the businesses of friends who are supporting me. It is not just a difference of political ideologies,” he said.

In 2022, Anirudh triggered protests by members of the Jat community after he claimed that his family originated from the Jadaun Rajputs of Karauli. The remarks even angered the Jat Mahasabha which termed the statement a “historic mistake”.

However, Anirudh stood firm on his stand and said, “There is no doubt that our family originated from Karauli and then went on to founding Bharatpur, our own state. One should never try to hide origins.”

Later, referring to a 1935 book titled ‘Memoranda of Indian States’, Anirudh backed his claims and cited some parts from the book.

“Talking about the #Bharatpur family, we are descendants of Shri Krishna, we are Jats, but the origins are as follows. There are many sources to this claim but this is the easiest to interpret. I hope this clarifies all the debate. I stick to my stand,” he said.

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First published on: 09-03-2023 at 12:22 IST
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