The year 2017 saw some dramatic statements being delivered. What was said made headlines, fuelled speculation, gave rise to controversies and even evoked laughter. Sangeeta Pranvendra presentsGehlot fires a veiled barbAccepting congratulations from partymen after the Congress victory in Punjab Assembly polls, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot fired a veiled barb at the PCC chief Sachin Pilot. He said, “Opportunity comes gradually. I became the chief minister after serving as PCC chief for the third time, 14 years after my first appointment to the post. The old will make way for the new. It is our duty to encourage the new generation and it is the duty of the new generation to take everyone along.Compulsive ‘offender’The BJP MLA from Ramgarh, Alwar, was busy shooting off his mouth all through the year. He started with announcing Pahlu Khan’s postmortem report even before the hospital. The year ends with his statement on roughing up cow smugglers. When asked about an alleged cow smuggler being roughed up by villagers, he said, “Gautaskari karte hain isliye maar khaate hain. Maar khaane ke liye gaye hi kyon? Gautaskari karoge to yun hi maroge kyonki janta mein gai ke prati aastha hai.” (they are beaten because they smuggle cows. Why did they go to get beaten. This is how you will get killed if you smuggle and slaughter cows because people have reverence for cows.)Daring the PMThe occasion was of celebration for the party as a post office passport seva kendra was being inaugurated in Kota, but the BJP MLA from Ladpura in Kota thought it to be the opportune time to press for airport demand. He declared, “Kota airport is apparently meant for political leaders and general public of Kota as only small aircraft of political leaders can land here. We will not let aircraft of VIPs land in Kota even if the aircraft of Prime Minister arrives here.”Nose that made newsDuring the controversy created over the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie Padmavati, Mahipal Makrana, the state president of Shri Rajput Karni Sena issued the dire warning to chop off Deepika’s nose, “Rajputs never raise a hand on women but if need be, we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Shurpanakha.”Clarion callWhen asked about the encounter of the gangster Anandpal Singh by Rajasthan SOG, the state home minister Gulabchand Kataria said, “I was sleeping and not aware about it. The chief minister called me and informed me about it.”
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BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja has once again courted controversy by warning that those who smuggle and slaughter cows will be beaten up and killed. Ahuja was responding to a query about an alleged cow smuggling incident on Saturday, wherein villagers in Ramgarh, his constituency in Alwar district, thrashed a suspected cow smuggler.Ahuja’s threat came a day after he denied Saturday’s attack, insisting that the suspected cow smuggler suffered injuries after the vehicle he was travelling in overturned.Talking about his favourite topic, cows, Ahuja said, “Gautaskari karte hain, isliye maar khate hain. Maar khaane ke liye gaye hi kyon? Gautaskari karoge aur gaukashi karoge to yun hi maroge kyonki janta mein gay ke prati aastha hai.” (They get beaten up because they smuggle cows. Why did they do it?. People who smuggle and slaughter cows will get killed because people revere cows.)This is not the first time Ahuja has kicked up a storm.His statement against JNU students — that 3,000 used condoms, 2,000 empty liquor bottles, 10,000 cigarette butts and 4,000 beedi stubs are found in JNU every day — had created a major controversy, leaving his party red-faced and subject to severe ire, especially from JNU students.In another instance, Ahuja went on record to say that Pahlu Khan, who was lynched by cow vigilantes, had died of heart attack, even before his postmortem report was out. He had also claimed he was a ‘gaurakshak’ and his ‘men’ patrolled highways at night to ‘catch’ cow smugglers.Ahuja put his party men in another embarrassing situation when, during an interaction of BJP MLAs with national party president Amit Shah in Jaipur, he had asked Shah when the Ram temple would be constructed.
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