Youth Congress Twitter meme mocks Modi; Congress firefights

Youth Congress Twitter meme mocks Modi; Congress firefights

A tweet referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'tea seller' days by the Youth Congress on Tuesday threatened to derail party vice president Rahul Gandhi's carefully crafted campaign for the Gujarat assembly election.

Yuva Desh, the online magazine of the Youth Congress, put up a picture of Modi engaged in discussion with US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May on its Twitter handle.

In the picture Modi is shown asking them whether they were aware of various 'memes' put out by the Opposition targeting him. Trump is shown in the picture correcting the pronunciation of 'meme', while May is seen asking Modi to "sell tea".

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was quick to highlight the tweet by the Youth Congress that set off a Twitter storm. "This blatantly classist (sic) and anti-poor tweet by the Youth Congress shows their mindset towards India's poor. Does Crown Prince @OfficeOfRG support this," Rupani asked on Twitter.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, came days after Rahul Gandhi had asked Congress' social media team not to lower the dignity of the office of the Prime Minister.

Cong firefights

Congress, which had kept  economic issues at the centre of the Gujarat poll campaign, was quick to get into firefighting mode with party's chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala strongly disapproving "such humour through memes".

"INC strongly disapproves & rejects such humour through memes. Differences on policy and opinion aside, Congress culture imbibes respect for PM and all political opponents," Surjewala said on Twitter.

"We condemn this and are apologetic. We are trying to find out who did that tweet as mainly volunteers run that page," said Suraj Hegde, AICC Secretary in-charge of Youth Congress.

Omar objects

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah wondered aloud about the propensity of the Congress to commit mistakes with "amazing regularity".

"What is about elements of the Congress party that commit political suicide with such amazing regularity? This tweet is in such poor taste," Abdullah said on Twitter.

In the midst of the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had mocked Modi's prime ministerial ambitions and offered to set up a tea stall for him at the venue of the AICC meeting.

Modi famously crafted the tea seller jibe into his electioneering and launched a 'Chai pe Charcha' segment in the campaign.

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