Former United States President Barack Obama’s comment that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was like a student who is eager to impress but lacks aptitude to master the subject prompted a terse response from the Congress on Friday that it does not comment on “an individual’s view in a book.”
Mr. Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, that was reviewed by The New York Times (NYT), talks about political leaders from across the world, including Mr. Gandhi.
According to the NYT review, speaking about Mr. Gandhi, the former President wrote that the Congress leader has “a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject.”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also find a mention in the memoir.
“We are told of the handsomeness of men like Charlie Crist and Rahm Emanuel, but not the beauty of women, except for one or two instances, as in the case of Sonia Gandhi,” the NYT review said.
Dr. Singh and former U.S. Secretary of Defence Bob Gates, both come across as having a kind of impassive integrity, the review stated.
As several TV networks picked up Mr. Obama’s comments on Mr. Gandhi, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, “May I humbly remind certain overzealous friends of the Media running a sponsored agenda that we don’t comment on individual’s views in a book. In the past, a Leader has been called “psychopath” and “master divider” by people and agencies. We didn’t acknowledge such comments!”
“May I remind media friends that in the past too, a sitting President had made uncharitable remarks about a sitting women PM of India. INC & its Govt continued to work in National Interest unfazed and Bangladesh & Green Revolution happened. INC shall continue to serve similarly,” he said in another tweet, referring to former U.S. President Richard Nixon comments against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi without naming them.
While Congress general secretary Tariq Anwar asserted that Mr Gandhi has evolved, party’s ’ Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore unfollowed Mr Obama on twitter.
(With inputs from PTI)