On Wednesday evening, a Twitter handle called @BJP2014 posted a suggestive picture of actor Gul Panag, 35, greeting her on her political debut as an Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Chandigarh. What raised brows was the nature of the photograph, that was shot for a men’s magazine cover in 2006, and appeared incongruous.
After Gul’s instant, sarcastic retort with a retweet and a cheeky “thank you”, Twitter broke into a fury over the handle’s choice of her picture in the political context. “#Bringing a bad name to the party, kindly remove (sic),” posted @_Aniket. “...Requesting that you avoid such tweets (sic),” tweeted @ PawanDurani. Later, bowing to pressure, the unofficial handle removed the picture, and BJP’s party’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, also unfollowed the account — a fact that was brought to light on Twitter by AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal.
“We don’t want to respond to trolls. We’d like to thank those who voiced their support for Gul and we condemn the deplorable act,” Gul’s campaign team told us. Meanwhile, the incident also brought into spotlight some of Gul’s previous tweets that read “NaMo for PM”. Asked about it, she said, “This was a time when there was no alternative.”