Even though the Congress youth wing removed the ‘chaiwala’ meme on Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it posted on Tuesday, the party continued to face brickbats from the BJP, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying the Grand Old Party would never learn their lesson.
“If Congress has not learnt their lesson till now, then I don’t think they will ever learn it,” Jaitley said, when questioned about the derogatory tweet.
The meme, posted on the official Twitter handle of the Youth Congress online magazine Yuva Desh, showed a photo of Modi, US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May in conversation. It showed Modi telling the two leaders about the Opposition’s memes targeting him. “Aap logon ne dekha vipaksh mere kaise kaise maimai banvata hai?” says Modi. Trump corrects him, saying the word is pronounced as ‘meem’ — “usse maimai nahin, meem kehte hain”. May tells Modi to sell tea — “Tu chai bech”.
However, the tweet was deleted a few hours after it was posted as Congress went into damage control. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Congress strongly disapproves and rejects such humour through memes. Differences in policy and opinion aside, Congress culture imbibes respect for PM and all political opponents.”
It did little to stop the ruling party in castigating the Congress and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. “Our Chai-Wala is any day better than your Bar-Wala!” BJP MP Paresh Rawal tweeted on Wednesday, even though he deleted it soon after.
Earlier in the day, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani questioned Rahul Gandhi: “This blatantly classist and anti-poor Tweet by the Youth Congress shows their mindset towards India’s poor. Does Crown Prince support this?”
Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a tweet, said: “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 Rahul Gandhi do u still believe that only u have a divine right to rule India? The 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.”
“Upcoming elections will be another reality check for them,” said Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.