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VOTE: Who is India's most 'foot-in-mouth' politician?

Last updated on: November 6, 2012 12:25 IST

VOTE: Who is India's most 'foot-in-mouth' politician?

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They never fail to astonish us. Every now and then our esteemed politicians end up raking up controversies or drawing flak for their outrageous remarks that make one wonder: Under which rock did they crawl out from!

Regardless of the uproar some of them stand by their statements, but many take the easy way out by blaming the media for 'twisting' their 'comments' when the controversy goes out of hand. And, there are some who are 'proclaimed offenders' in terms of sparking off controversies with their sometimes insensitive, sometimes downright unintelligent comments.

Well, we are no judges -- but the public is, surely.

Rediff.com presents some of the recent remarks made by our leaders that have created a flutter. Please DON'T forget to cast your vote at the last slide.

And the nominations are...

1.  Nitin Gadkari

The recent remarks of beleaguered Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari did not help his case much when he 'equated' the IQ of Swami Vivekananda with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Gadakri, who is under a cloud over allegations of corruption, said at a function in Bhopal on Sunday, "In psychology, we measure the IQ level of people...But it depends from person to person, in which area they use their intelligence."

"As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekananda and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been almost the same. But Vivekananda used it in nation- building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used his in excelling in the crime world," he added.

Later, he said that he was by no means drawing a comparison between Swami Vivekananda, the mascot of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's election campaign, and Dawood, and attributed the controversy to his statement being misquoted by the media.

What do you think?

Please click NEXT to read further, and cast your VOTE on the last slide....


Image: Nitin Gadkari


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2. Rahul Gandhi

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Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, while attacking the Opposition at a huge gathering of party workers at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Sunday, said the BJP was opposing everything without giving it a thought.

To drive home his point, he argued further, "We were also in the Opposition. Then the Kargil war happened. We were all together. The Congress stands together in the interest of the country whether we are in government or not. They (BJP) oppose without any thought. They are engaged only in opposing without giving a thought to anything ," Gandhi said.

The Kargil argument didn't go down well with the BJP, which counter-attacked by saying the Congress didn't oblige the then National Democratic Alliance government by supporting the Kargil war. "That is the duty of every patriotic citizen to support the country's armed forces and the government at the time of a war," senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi retorted.

Please click NEXT to read further, and cast your VOTE on the last slide....




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3. Digvijaya Singh

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Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh is by no means new to setting off controversies with his motormouth statements.

From 'not ruling out the role of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in the 2011 triple blasts in Mumbai' before any investigative breakthrough came to the fore to 'feeling sorry' for the hardships faced by (scam accused) Suresh Kalmadi and Ashok Chavan, from 'being a victim of (Finance Minister) P Chidambaram's intellectual arrogance' to addressing the slain Al Qaeda chief as 'Osamaji': the list goes on and on.

Does he get your vote as Mr Foot-in-the-Mouth?

Please click NEXT to read further, and cast your VOTE on the last slide....




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4. Narendra Modi

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Many see him as a potential prime minister; however, the charismatic Gujarat chief minister has often made remarks that have been termed as 'sexist' by certain sections.

While addressing a campaign rally in Himachal Pradesh, the BJP leader took potshots at Union minister Shashi Tharoor's personal life, saying his wife (Sunanda Pushkar) was once his "50-crore-rupee girlfriend"

"Wah kya girlfriend ha! Apne kabhi dekhi hai 50 crore ki girlfriend?" (What a girlfriend! Have you ever seen a 50-crore girlfriend?), Modi taunted at the election rally.

"There was a Congress leader who was a minister. He was accused of amassing wealth from cricket. He had said in Parliament that he is not connected to the Rs 50 crore in the lady's name," the BJP stalwart said in an apparent reference to Tharoor in the context of the IPL cricket controversy involving Pushkar in 2010 which led to his resignation as minister of state for external affairs.

Tharoor shot back on his playground, Twitter, stating that 'his wife is priceless,' and that Modi 'need2be able2love some1 2understand that.'

Tharoor later said in an interview that Modi's remarks were 'deplored by some within BJP as well.'

In September, the Gujarat chief minister's response on widespread malnutrition being the result of a predominantly vegetarian middle class that is "more beauty-conscious than health-conscious" sparked off another row.

"If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they will have a fight. She will tell her mother, 'I will not drink milk. I will get fat," Modi had said.

Just goes to show that no one is infallible when it comes to occasionally gargling with one's feet!

Please click NEXT to read further, and cast your VOTE on the last slide....




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5. Salman Khurshid

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Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, largely perceived as suave and cultured, seemed to have lost it when he verbally threatened anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal last month.

Battling Kejriwal's charges of misappropriation of funds in managing his family-run Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Khurshid told his supporters, "I have been made the (then) law minister and asked to work with the pen. I will work with the pen, but also with blood."

Apparently referring to Kejriwal's threat to stage protests in his Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Khurshid said: "Let them come to Farrukhabad and visit Farrukhabad. But let him also return from Farrukhabad."

Khurshid's outbursts drew flak from many quarters including his party Congress, whose general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, "Everyone should be careful in the use of language. Everyone should choose words carefully".

Obviously the party high command saw nothing amiss, for it soon elevated Khurshid to the external affairs ministry.

Do you also see nothing amiss in his outburst?

Please click NEXT to read further, and cast your VOTE on the last slide....




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6. Robert Vadra

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Robert Vadra created a major uproar with his Facebook status update of 'Mango people in banana republic', an obvious and crude reference to the aam-aadmi.

The move came hours after Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan levelled serious allegations of corruption against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law, that real estate major DLF extended favours to the well-connected Vadra for some unknown quid pro quo.

As the storm gathered over his insensitive remark, Vadra reacted by deleting his Facebook account. However, before doing that, he fumed that people on his page had no sense of humour.

Please click NEXT to read further, and cast your VOTE on the last slide....




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7. Sriprakash Jaiswal

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Former Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal found himself in the centre of a controversy over his remark that wives lose their charm over time, sparking an outrage among women's groups which dubbed the comment as "disgusting and derogatory".

Facing flak for his remarks at a kavi sammelan in Kanpur, Jaiswal offered his apology, saying he had no intention to hurt the sentiments of women.

Jaiswal, who was addressing a sammelan when news of India's victory over Pakistan in an ICC World Twenty20 match in Sri Lanka came in, said that like an old victory, wives lose charm as time goes by.

Observing that people became excited after India's victory, Jaiswal said, "New new victory and new new wedding, both of them have their own importance. As time will pass, the victory will become old. As time passes wife also becomes old...that charm does not sustain."

Now that really takes the cake, doesn't it!

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8. Mamata Banerjee

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shocked many when she said "rapes happen because men and women interact freely".

CNN-IBN quoted Mamata as saying: "Earlier if men and women would hold hands, they would get caught by parents and reprimanded but now everything is so open. It's like an open market with open options."

And yes, she is Bengal's bright new hope.

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9. Beni Prasad Verma

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Former Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma, known for his penchant for gaffes, recently said while defending colleague Salman Kurshid, embroiled in a controversy over his family-run trust, that "Salman Khurshid could not have embezzled Rs 71 lakh". Pray, why? Because, "It is a very small amount for a central minister. I would have taken it seriously if the amount was Rs 71 crore."

Verma then quickly backpedalled by protesting that his remark had been distorted.

But he is obviously a serial offender. For on August 19, he had made a remark in Barabanki, that "With the increasing price levels, the farmers are benefitting. Dal, atta, vegetables have all become expensive. I am happy with this price rise. The more the prices rise, the better it is for farmers."

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10. Shivpal Yadav

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In August, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother and UP minister Shivpal Yadav gave 'official sanction' to bureaucrats of the state to indulge in a little bit of corruption.

Chairing a meeting of the Etah district programme committee Shivpal had said, "Maine to usi din PWD walo se khule aam keh diya tha agar mehnat karoge to thodi bahut chori kar sakte ho, dakaiti nahi daloge (I have already told PWD people openly that if you work hard, you can steal a little, but don't behave like dacoits)".

"Agar mehnat karoge, jee lagaoge, agar inhe meetha paani de doge to chori kar sakte ho (If you work hard, if you give them water then you can steal)," he had stated.

He later claimed that his comment was not reported in totality and that he made the statement in the context of the previous Bahujan Samaj Party government.

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11. HD Deve Gowda

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In 2010, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda used unparliamentary language to make a personal attack against then Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa who hit back at the Janata Dal-Secular chief, saying that he had "lost his mental balance."

Gowda's remarks targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party leader came over the controversial Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Project, promoted by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise during a farmers stir against NICE at Hemmigepura village near Bengaluru, in which he is taking part, "to demand justice" for them.

"Who is this Yeddyurappa? Who the hell does Yeddyurappa think he is? Does he have any shame? This is the man who hid behind Shobha Karandlaje to save himself. He said he will resign from BJP and join JD-S to become a minister. What is this nonsense," a fuming Gowda quipped.

"He can go to any extent for the sake of money. My father did not give me birth to resort to such cheap actions like Yeddyurappa," said Gowda, who lost his cool at the mention of the then chief minister's name.

Gowda's remark came in response to a question by a reporter asking for his comments to the chief minister calling the infrastructure project a brainchild of the former premier.

Now please click NEXT to register your VOTE...




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So who gets the golden boot? Cast your VOTE!

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