Coca Cola maker sold 'shikanji': Here's how Rahul Gandhi left Twitter in splits

Rahul Gandhi used the anecdotes to target the BJP and PM Modi, accusing them of benefiting a handful of industrialists.

New Delhi: Giving more chance to critics to mock him, Rahul Gandhi addressing a large gathering in Delhi today said that founder of Coca-Cola started by selling "shikanji" (lemonade).

"Who started Coca Cola company? Do you know? I will tell you who," Congress president Rahul Gandhi asked as he addressed his party's convention for backward castes at Talkatora stadium in Delhi.

"Coca-Cola wala America mein shikanji bechta tha (The man who started Coca Cola used to sell 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, Rahul Gandhi 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."

The Congress president questioned the rarity of such entrepreneurs 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 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."

In minutes, social media was abuzz talking about the Coca-Cola-shikanji story. Soon, the hashtag #AccordingToRahulGandhi was trending and the Congress president 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.

This is not the first time that Rahul Gandhi has faced flak for such comments. The Congress president faced similar derision over a comment he made in 2013 to a gathering of Dalits where he was explaining that the community has to fight harder to get ahead, when he used the analogy of Jupiter.

He went on to say, “There is a concept called escape velocity in aeronautics. From Earth, your velocity has to be 11 km a second...If you are on Jupiter, you need to go at 60 km per hour....In India, Dalits need Jupiter's escape velocity on Earth.”

Needless to say, he lost many in his audience during the explanation.

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