The controversy doesn't seem to rest as Congress hit back BJP saying that the party should apologise for the derogatory remarks made by its spokesperson. "If this is your democratic spirit or understanding of democracy, it is a shame on the Congress party", he said. Rahul Gandhi in his sixth-row seat at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
Congress leaders had on Thursday alleged that assigning a seat in the fourth row to the Congress president was an attempt to "humiliate" him at a public function, which was attended by heads of government/states of 10 ASEAN countries. "It is the arrogance of the Prime Minister that is brushing upon the leaders of the BJP when the Prime Minister doesn't use parliamentary language what would you expect of spokespersons? Our party believes in value system as we not only follow the rules and traditions but we also ensure the greatest of respect for all our leaders and opposition leaders", Rao said.
By convention, the leader of the biggest Opposition party is given a front-row seat even though this is not a protocol requirement.
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The BJP on Saturday rejected the Congress' objections to its president Rahul Gandhi being seated on the sixth row at the Republic Day function, accusing him of considering himself a "super VVIP who should be put ahead of everyone else". "For us, the celebration of the Constitution is foremost".
Later in the evening, at the President Ram Nath Kovind's Rashtrapati Bhavan, Rahul was made to sit in a selected enclosure along with the parade chief guests.
Responding to the controversy, Rahul told a reporter that he was "not bothered" what seat he has been allocated.