The Congress party has courted another controversy just weeks ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections as the party's youth wing's online magazine Yuva Desh tweeted out a meme mocking at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's past as a tea-seller.
The magazine later withdrew the tweet with the meme which featured Modi along with US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Modi is seen asking the two world leaders whether they have seen the memes, which he mispronounces as 'meemee', of him put out by the opposition. While Trump is seen correcting his pronunciation in the meme, May tells him to 'go sell tea.'
ANI took a screenshot of the tweet which was promptly deleted after media reports picked up the issue.
Congress' online magazine tweets derogatory meme attacking PM Modi, deletes later
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) November 21, 2017
Meanwhile, the political mudslinging on the issue has already started, with the BJP targeting the Congress party for it's derogatory remark. The Youth Congress has, however, apologised stating that the said twitter page was mostly run by volunteers.
The handle is not run by Indian Youth Congress but by volunteers, I still take this opportunity and apologize and strongly condemn that tweet: Amrinder Singh Raja Brar,Youth Congress Chief pic.twitter.com/5pIfT73LT3
— ANI (@ANI) November 21, 2017
However, this was not the first instant the magazine had tweeted out derogatory memes targeting Modi. Here's another tweet from 20 November which has not been deleted yet.
The tweet obviously did not go down well with the BJP, with party leaders slamming the Opposition party for its 'tasteless remark.'
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said that the deleted tweet has exposed the Congress party's classist and anti-poor mindset.
— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) November 21, 2017
BJP's national spokesperson Sambit Patra recalled the past 'Maut ka Saudagar' jibe and warned the Congress of electoral consequences of abusing the prime minister. "The nation saw the impact of 'Maut Ka Saudagar' jibe and Mani Shankar Aiyar's abuses in 2014. Similar impact will be seen now. Congress has not only insulted PM but also 6 crore Gujaratis and 1.25 billion Indians," Patra told ANI. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted, "Madam Sonia Gandhi & Mr Rahul Gandhi do u still believe that only u have a divine right to rule India? Country expects ur response on the tweet of the youth Congress, which is shameful & insulting to poor. U can delete the Tweet but ur thinking towards the poor stands exposed." BJP leader Tajinder Bagga also criticised the party for insulting the prime minister's humble beginnings.
Just because Modi ji comes from a poor family and he used to sell tea you will insult him? This is an insult of all hard working poor people. Also, mistake happens once not twice. First in 2014 MS Aiyar said this and now Yuva Desh: Tajinder Bagga,BJP pic.twitter.com/iggNwRGB7u — ANI (@ANI) November 21, 2017
National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also slammed the tweet stating that the Congress party had committed a 'political suicide'.
The prime minister has been quite forthcoming about his humble beginnings as a tea-seller at a railway station in Gujarat. He even used the fact to draw a comparison between himself and the Congress, a party he has often accused of dynasticism, during the campaign ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party disapproved such humour. He added that the Congress' culture imbibed respect for the post of prime minister.
INC strongly disapproves & rejects such humour through memes. Differences on policy and opinion aside, Congress culture imbibes respect for PM and all political opponents. https://t.co/RqLOugCHwh
— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) November 21, 2017
The BJP has, however, asserted that the damage from the tweet was "already don" and deleting it from twitter with not absolve the party. The BJP demanded a formal apology from the Congress party.
This was not the first time that the party invited controversy by tweeting derogatory tweets about Modi.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was slammed for retweeting a derogatory remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as he later said he did not endorse it after controversy erupted.
Digvijaya Singh shared the profanity-laced tweet with a disclaimer: "Not mine but couldn't help posting it. My apologies to the person concerned. He is the best in the 'Art of Fooling!'"
Updated Date: Nov 22, 2017 06:39 AM