New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi today served his critics something to snigger about as he told a large gathering in Delhi that the founder of Coca-Cola started by selling “shikanji” or lemonade.
“Who started Coca-Cola company? Do you know? I will tell you who,” the Congress president asked as he addressed his party’s convention for backward castes.
“Coca-Cola wala America mein shikanji bechta tha (The man who started Coca-Cola sold shikanji in the US). He sold sugar mixed in water. His experience was acknowledged. His skill was recognised and rewarded,” he said.
Warming up to his theme, he also said, “You know McDonald’s. It is everywhere. Who started it? He ran a dhaba (food joint) but we all have seen the brand’s progress. You show me one person who runs a dhaba and has set up a Coca-Cola in India. Ford was a mechanic, so was Honda.”
Where, he questioned, are these people in India?
“It’s not that we don’t have talent, knowledge, power, ability…but we don’t have banks willing to help, offer loans. The government isn’t supportive.”
Coca-Cola was founded by American pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886 when he prepared a soda-fountain beverage which later became the world famous cola drink.
McDonald’s was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald. The couple had in 1937 opened a hot dog stand in Monrovia in California that later became McDonald’s. Today, the company has presence in over 100 countries.
Rahul Gandhi used the anecdotes to target the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing them of benefiting a handful of industrialists. “The BJP’s strategy is clear. 15-20 rich capitalists will give thousands of crores to PM Modi and all benefits will go to just those 15-20 rich people.”
As expected, the Coca-Cola-shikanji story was too delicious for Twitter to pass up. Soon, the hashtag #AccordingToRahulGandhi was trending and the Congress chief was being trolled.
One Twitter user said the Congress IT cell had edited the Coca-Cola founder’s Wikipedia page to “prove” the party chief correct.