‘Yashpal Arya Bewafa Hai’: Uttarakhand Congress hits back at turncoats | cities | Hindustan Times
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‘Yashpal Arya Bewafa Hai’: Uttarakhand Congress hits back at turncoats

cities Updated: Jan 18, 2017 19:04 IST
Neha Pant
Uttarakhand elections

Yashpal Arya (second from right) joined the BJP in the presence of former chief minister BS Koshyari and party chief Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Move over Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai. Congress supporters in Uttarakhand have found their own “bewafa” or unfaithful in senior leader Yashpal Arya, who severed his 40-year association with the party to join the BJP on January 16.

The Congressmen are posting and sharing on social media Rs 2,000 and Rs 10 banknotes with “Yashpal Arya Bewafa Hai” scribbled on it in Hindi — a spoof of the original that trended in November with “Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai” written on an old Rs 500 bill.

Much like the real thing that appeared to be a jilted lover’s way of getting even with a girl named Sonam, Congressmen are dishing out “bewafa” jibes against Arya and 10 more turncoats.

They have come up with parody lists too, after the BJP put several Congress deserters on its first list of 64 candidates for the February 15 assembly polls.

Memes sprang up minutes after Congress veteran and former chief minister ND Tiwari joined the BJP along with son Rohit Shekhar in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Caustic cartoons and one-liners are directed towards the rival BJP, as at least one-fifth of those on the party’s candidate list are former Congress faces.

“Social media is the best way to vent our anger against those who deserted the party,” said Amarjeet Singh, state head of the Congress’s information technology cell. “And nothing gets catchier than the viral bewafa trend.”

Some of the posts wondered if being an ex-Congress hand was one of the criteria for getting a BJP ticket. Others shared cartoons, saying “vote for BJP and elect your old Congress MLA”.

The list spawned a whole range of catchphrases that can be interpreted in more than one way — “baagi” for Congress rebel, “daagi” for tainted candidates, “parachute” for those who landed on someone else’s turf, “beta, beti, bhatija” for politicos’ kids and relatives given poll tickets, and “Shaktiman” for the BJP leader who has been accused of breaking a police horse’s leg.

The best of the bunch are “RAC” and “tatkal” — a take from railway booking status. The first refers to leaders waiting for a poll ticket, while “tatkal” or the emergency train ticketing system is for Congress leaders who got their election booking within hours of joining the BJP.

There is a design behind this wit-hit. “We are trying to hit (the conscience of) social media users by circulating these posts as much as we can,” said Vijay Pal Rawat, a state Congress spokesperson.

Surendra Kumar, chief minister Harish Rawat’s spokesperson, called the Congress dissidents in the BJP camp “udhaar ka sindoor”, or borrowed vermillion.

For his part, the chief minister drew on an ancient hymn to pack a pun on the turncoats.

“Bhajpa sharanam gachchami (going to the BJP for refuge).”

Arya could not be reached for comments.

The BJP called the Congress’s social media barrage a shallow tactic.

“The Congress should introspect on the reasons (behind its leaders’ exodus),” said Vinay Goyal, the state BJP spokesperson.