While Congress chief Rahul Gandhi made a tall claim on Twitter to “stand with the last person in the line” on Tuesday, his coalition government in Karnataka was gifting MPs most expensive phone from the Apple stable as part of the invite to attend an all-party meeting to discuss the Cauvery issue.

Karnataka chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy sent out expensive Apple iPhone X, worth over Rs 1 Lakh, along with the papers of the agenda, which included several issues of the state including the Cauvery river, to all the MPs from the state.

Karnataka currently has 25 Lok Sabha MPs and 12 Rajya Sabha MPs.

The splurging of the public funds comes at a time when the state is undergoing serious agrarian stress—Karnataka accounts for most farmer suicides in India. Another ironic coincidence is the agitation by Pourakarmikas (scavengers) in the state who have not been paid salaries by the HDK regime in the name of austerity and who are forced to commit suicide.

“I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress,” Gandhi had tweeted.

However, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar turned down the gift and rather sent back another letter to the chief minister.

“My conscience does not permit me to accept this and with due respect to you, I am sending this phone back to you. Instead I urge you to pay the salaries of Pourakarmikas who tirelessly work to keep our city clean and focus on real austerity so that public money can be invested in those in need in our state,” Chandrasekhar said in the letter. He would attend the meeting nonetheless, the letter said.