Yuva Desh, a magazine of the Congress’ youth wing on Monday had set off a political firestorm with a meme about PM Narendra Modi’s ‘chaiwala’ past. Following the incident, the BJP workers decided to give it back to the Congress party in style. The workers on Tuesday marched to the Congress office in Gujarat and started selling tea. These members of BJP with them carried a poster with a picture of PM Modi with the slogan,”I sell tea and not the country.” After the incident, the Congress and BJP workers came face-to-face and raised slogans. Yuva Desh, earlier on Monday, had posted a meme which contained photographs of PM Modi who was engaged in conversation with US president Donald Trump and British PM Theresa May. The Indian PM in the meme is seen telling the two leaders about the oppositions’ memes targetting him. In the process, PM Modi mispronounces the word as “maimai.” Trump corrects him, saying the word is pronounced as “meme”, while May tells PM Modi to go and sell tea. Notably, the meme was circulated ahead of the upcoming Gujarat Assembly Elections which are scheduled to take place in December. The meme was taken down on Twitter after it sparked outrage.
सूरत : यूथ कांग्रेस के ट्वीट के बाद बीजेपी कार्यकर्त्ताओं ने कोंग्रेस दफ़्तर पहुंचकर बेची चाय।
‘चाय बेचता हूँ,देश नहीं के पोस्टर के साथ किया विरोध।
पोस्टर में पीएम मोदी की तस्वीर।
इस घटना के बाद कोंग्रेस-बीजेपी कार्यकर्ता हुएआमने सामने और लगाए नारे।@sanghaviharsh pic.twitter.com/fLhmr7WDPV
— Janak Dave (@dave_janak) November 22, 2017
However, the opposition party was excoriated by the ruling BJP. “This blatantly classist and anti-poor Tweet by the Youth Congress shows their mindset towards India’s poor. Does Crown Prince @OfficeOfRG support this?,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said in a tweet. Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, J P Nadda and Piyush Goyal also hit out at the Congress over the post. “The arrogance of the Congress Party and shameful anti-poor stand gets exposed from the official twitter of the Youth Congress that a person born in poverty in the family of a tea vendor cannot become the Prime Minister. No lessons learnt. Insulting popular mandate. Madam Sonia Gandhi and 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, which is shameful and insulting to poor. You can delete the Tweet but your thinking towards the poor stands exposed,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a series of tweets.
Meanwhile, following the turmoil caused by the meme, the head of Youth Congress Suraj Hegde apologized and said that they are trying to find the culprit. “We condemn this and are apologetic. We are trying to find out who did that tweet as mainly volunteers run that page,” he said. The Congress MLA from Gidharbaha, Punjab, Amarinder Singh Raja apologized for the shameful tweet and said,”Although the handle @Yuvadesh is being run by youth volunteers and not by @iyc ,we do not approve of such humour and apologise. Despite political differences with the BJP & having suffered everyday abuse from their leaders, we respect the Prime Minister & all political opponents.”