A war of words broke out on Twitter on Sunday between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani over the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit, scheduled to be held in January.
Quoting a December 15 report of The Indian Express, Rahul on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that “cynical” sponsors of the 2019 Vibrant Gujarat Summit no longer wanted to be associated with an event presided over by him. He said the sponsors had left the stage “empty”. “At the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019, cynical sponsors no longer want to associate themselves with an event presided over by NoMo. They have left the stage, the way he likes it…Empty,” Rahul tweeted.
The Indian Express had reported that the United Kingdom had decided to withdraw from the “show-piece, state-led event” due to lack of satisfactory “commercial outcomes”, and had quoted a UK diplomat. Senior UK diplomats had pointed out that after spending 50,000 pounds each in bringing ministerial and business delegations to the summit, the quantum of business deals struck at the event were few.
The United Kingdom, which had partnered the business summit in 2015 and 2017 editions, was the second country to back out from the 2019 summit after the United States also refused to partner the summit for different reasons.
Within an hour, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani hit back at Rahul on Twitter, calling him a “shameless liar”. “Such a shameless liar you are Rahul Gandhi. This time Vibrant Gujarat is seeing even more participation. Here are the facts,” Rupani tweeted, posting a link of a story from a news portal, DeshGujarat.com. However, the December 18 article of DeshGujarat.com, which Rupani quoted in his tweet, reported the Chief Minister’s statement in Gandhinagar in which he claimed that unlike on previous editions when 10 countries were partner nations, the 2019 edition would witness 16 ‘partner countries’.
In an another tweet, Rupani wrote: “The glee in your tweet shows how desperate you are to see Gujarat fail. Gujaratis recognise your hatred for the state and have continuously rejected the Congress & will keep doing so! #RaGaJhoothKiMachine.”
The three-day biennial business summit will begin on January 18.