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NEW DELHI: A meme by Youth Congress aimed at taking a dig at PM Modi’s beginnings as a teaseller stoked a political controversy on Tuesday, evoking a strong response from BJP, which called it “blatantly classist and anti-poor”.
The official handle of “Yuva Sandesh” tweeted a collage containing the photographs of Modi, US President Donald Trump and British PM Theresa May in conversation. Modi was depicted mispronouncing ‘meme’ and being corrected by Trump, with May finally saying ” tu chai bech (you sell tea)”.
Though Congress was quick to distance itself from the tweet, which was deleted, it was not before BJP pounced on the indiscretion. “This blatantly classist and anti-poor tweet by Youth Congress shows their mindset towards India’s poor. Does crown prince Rahul Gandhi support this?” tweeted Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.
This blatantly classist and anti-poor Tweet by the Youth Congress shows their mindset towards India’s poor. Does Cr… https://t.co/GSycsTrMMG
— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp)
He hinted that it would be taken up by the party during the poll campaign for the state, portraying personal comments on Modi as an attack on “Gujarati asmita (pride)”.
Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, “Congress strongly disapproves and rejects such humour through memes. Differences on policy and opinion aside, Congress culture imbibes respect for the PM and all political opponents.” Youth Congress president Raja Amarinder Brar apologised: “I apologise for such bad humour. Despite huge political differences with BJP and having suffered abuse from their leaders, we respect the PM and all the political opponents.” Rahul Gandhi chose not to speak on the issue even as he tweeted to attack the PM for delay in convening the winter session of Parliament.
“Madam Sonia Gandhi & Mr Rahul Gandhi do you still believe that only you have a divine right to rule India? Country expects your response on the tweet of the Youth Congress,” tweeted law minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said, “This is a crude attempt to ridicule over 90% of India’s population that is unfamiliar with the English language…”