It was a candid admission that Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi would have preferred his political rivals to ignore.
Addressing the 85th plenary session of the Congress at Raipur, Gandhi said he lost his “home when I was seven. At 52, I am still homeless.”
Sensing an opportunity to pull a fast one on the Congress leader, the Wayanad unit of the BJP filed an application, seeking the allotment of a house to “homeless” Gandhi under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
The application caught the Kalpetta Municipality, ruled by the Indian Union Muslim League, a Congress ally, off guard.
The officials were initially cautious. They were aware that any quick rejection would ignite a political controversy. The officials, however, soon found a solution to wriggle out of the situation.
Instead of filing the application in the prescribed format (downloading and furnishing the details), BJP district president KP Madhu made the application on his letterhead.
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Municipal chairman K Mujeeb told South First that he instructed the municipal secretary not to even acknowledge the request since it was on the letterhead of a political party.
He also said the municipality would not encourage anyone to humiliate respected leaders by misinterpreting their statements.
The BJP, however, is happy. They managed to grab a few headlines, as expected.
Madhu told the media that the Awas Yojana was meant to provide houses for the homeless, and Gandhi would get priority as the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad.
He also said Kalpetta would be ideal for Gandhi as Wayanad has been a part of his “preferred destination for vacation”.