When it comes to name-calling on Twitter, it is difficult to beat Haryana’s Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij. In one of his latest tweets, he likened West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to “Taadka” (mythological demoness) for not allowing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s helicopter to land in the state for a rally. There is hardly any politician in the rival camp who hasn’t been a target of his barbs. Rahul Gandhi, he tweeted earlier this year, is Nipah virus.
“Hooda rajneeti ke joker hain”, “Shashi Tharoor behooda aadmi hai, shakal aur akal se veh Hindustani nahi lagte”, “Rahul Gandhi ne Surjewala ko heera samjha tha, koyla nikla”, “mahagathbandhan ek rajneetik kachra”, “Navjot Sidhu ke gale mein Pakistani jehar bhar gaya hai, jehar ka ilaaz 108 baar bharat mata ki jai bol kar hoga”…. These are just a few of his tweets @anilvijminister.
The four-time MLA from Ambala cantonment constituency and a permanent invitee to the BJP national executive, Vij has never shied away from ridiculing his political opponents. “Jo deserve karta hai, use main wahi title deta hoon (I call people what they deserve to to be called),” Vij told The Indian Express about his tweets.
A science graduate who started as a businessman, he got into politics nearly four decades ago wearing the mantle of honesty but has gradually come to be known for his eccentricities and has a critical opinion about anything and everything happening across the country. His tweets on Mahagathbandhan calling it a “Rajneetik Kachra”, “Hisab theek kar denge” on Babri demolition day,
“Anna Hazare aur Hardik Patel chale hue kartoos”, Vij’s provocative comments have always resulted in controversies.
Sunday night when Mamata Banerjee sat on a protest against CBI’s action against Kolkata’s Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams and had earlier not allowed Yogi Adityanath’s chopper to land in the state, Vij was quick enough to come out with a tweet hitting straight at the West Bengal CM. “Chhotey hote they, jab Ram leela dekhne jaya karte they to usmein ek scene aaya karta tha ki Rishi-muni jab yagya kiya karte they to Taadka aake usmein vyavdhaan daal diya karti thi, theek usi prakar ka role Mamata Banerjee kar rahi hai”.
But, this was not the first time, Vij attacked Mamata.
On May 13, 2017, Vij had tweeted advising Mamata Banerjee to jump into sea if she was ashamed of being born in India. He reacted to Mamata’s comment wherein she said that she was ashamed of being born in a country where people still indulge in violence in the name of religion.
Always active on Twitter and highlighting his department and BJP governments’ achievements, Vij is a loose canon when it comes to his political opponents. He did not spare former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Vidhan Sabha’s former Speaker Kuldeep Sharma. On July 1, 2017 he tweeted calling Hooda a “madaari” (juggler) and Sharma a “bandar” (monkey).
It was in November, last year when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came to Haryana and wanted to take a look at a sub-health centre in Karnal. Lashing out at Kejriwal, Vij tweeted one of his public addresses on November 23, 2018, wherein he accused Kejriwal of indulging in politics in the name of visiting a sub-health centre. Vij said, “If Kejriwal has pregnancy related issues, he could write to me and I shall get it treated. If Kejriwal wants a family planning, I will send my employees to his residence and get his family planning done. But, we shall not allow him to visit our health centres for doing politics”.
In November 14, last year, Vij posted another tweet calling Kejriwal “mental” and added that “his ailment can only be treated at Rohtak PGIMS”.
Vij, last year, also criticised Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan for the latter’s oath-taking ceremony. Mincing no words, Vij called Sidhu a “bhaand (clown)” and Imran Khan a “shaitan (evil)”. In another tweet, he even called Sidhu a “girgit (chameleon)”.
Not known only for his objectionable and sometimes insulting tweets, but Anil Vij is even known for having spats with senior officers in public. Suspending officers, on the spot, during public-hearing sessions; ridiculing officers accusing them of dereliction in duty and mincing no words in criticising political opponents, Vij says, “Meri dictionary mein Maafi shabd nahi hai (Sorry is not part of my dictionary)”.
Even after innumerable controversial remarks on Twitter, none of his Cabinet colleagues have ever criticised Vij. One of the senior most BJP leaders of Haryana, Vij was also among the frontrunners for Chief Minister’s post in October 2014 when BJP first came to power in Haryana with full majority. In March, 2014 during a Vidhan Sabha session, Vij was also reprimanded for passing questionable remarks at Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal, the then Education Minister of Haryana. He was also suspended for Contempt of the House, when he refused to retract.
Vij’s controversial comments
On Rahul Gandhi
October 12, 2017: Ladies toilet mein ghus gaye Rahul Gandhi – Chota bacha ladies ya gents toilet kisi mein bhi ja sakta hai (Rahul Gandhi enters ladies toilet – A child can enter any toilet, be it ladies or gents)
November 1, 2017: Rahul Gandhi jo bolta hai, uska kutta bolta hai. Rahul Gandhi ko jaanne ke liye uske kutte ko jaanna jaroori hai. Yeh achhi tarah samajh lo Congress vaalo (Whatever Rahul Gandhi says, his dog says it. For understanding Rahul Gandhi, his dog needs to be understood. Congress workers should understand it thoroughly)
Rahul Gandhi ke liye Congress ke karyakarta aur kutte sab barabar hain (For Rahul Gandhi, Congress workers and dogs are equal)
November 30, 2017: Kuch neta girgit ki tarah rang badalte hain (Some politicians change colours like chameleon)
May 26, 2018: Rahul Gandhi Nipah virus ke samaan hain. Jo bhi rajneetik party iske sampark mein aayegi, veh fanaa ho jayegi (Rahul Gandhi is like Nipah viraus. Whichever political party will come in his contact, it shall perish)
On Shashi Tharoor
January 15, 2018: Sambhal ke rehna apne ghar mein Shashi Tharoor jaise gaddaron se (One should be cautious of traitors like Shashi Tharoor)
On Bhupinder Hooda
July 1, 2017: Bhupinder Hooda madaari aur Kuldeep Sharma bandar ki jodi pradesh mein ghoom kar tamaasha kar rahe hain. Unke paas koi mudda nahi, logon ka manoranjan kar rahe hain (Bhupinder Hooda is a juggler and Kuldeep Sharma a monkey, both are roaming around in the state without any agenda. They are entertaining people)