Rahul Gandhi, Aikido Black Belt. Photos He Promised Shared By Congress

Rahul Gandhi, Aikido Black Belt. Photos He Promised Shared By Congress


NEW DELHI:  Rahul Gandhi in Aikido stances made a splash on social media today, just days after a flap over "Pidi Gandhi" - the pet that the Congress Vice President quipped was tweeting from his handle @officeofRG.

In a tweet shared by Congress and actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana, the 47-year-old is seen in various Aikido positions with a Sensei, Paritos Kar. The tweet confirms what he had shared with an audience last week, responding to a question by Olympian Vijender Singh.

"I am a black belt in Aikido - have you heard of it? But I don't talk about it publicly. I do one hour of sports every day, though I admit I haven't been doing much in the past three-four months," Mr Gandhi said at a business event, when Vijender commented that politicians rarely promoted or participated in sports.

The champion boxer suggested, why not put up a video to inspire people? "Fine...I will..." Mr Gandhi had replied, grinning.

Tuesday's tweet seems to address that comment, if anyone ever doubted the Congress leader's prowess in the Japanese martial arts form that is based on the concept of resolving conflict in a non-lethal, non-disruptive, yet effective way.

The tweet, which has drawn over 400 likes and nearly 200 re-tweets, is another example of the social media rebranding of Congress's number two leader and president-in-waiting.

On the weekend, his own tweet made waves on Twitter, drawing laughter, criticism and derision.

Pidi Gandhi - a sarcastic comeback to critics who snark that someone else has been tweeting for the Congress vice president and is thus responsible for his newfound social media savvy  - became a top trend and stayed there.

The tweet scored over 33,000 likes and 13,000 re-tweets, and produced at least eight parody Pidi sites.

A comment by BJP leader Himanta Biswas added a political twist to the buzz. "Sir @OfficeOfRG, who knows him better than me. Still remember you busy feeding biscuits to him while we wanted to discuss urgent Assam's issues," posted the former Congressman who quit the party in Assam protesting against what he called the apathy of Mr Gandhi. After joining the BJP, he delivered several wins in the north east for the party.

Mr Gandhi has four million followers on Twitter. He has recently ramped up his Twitter engagement, delivering sharp jibes at the BJP, the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP has accused Mr Gandhi of using bots or fake accounts to inflate his following on the site, but the Congress rubbishes the charge.

Source: (ndtv.com)