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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Jul 2014

Pramod Muthalik enters and exits BJP in a day, trends on Twitter

Vishakha Saxena, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 23, 2014
First Published: 22:23 IST(23/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:30 IST(23/3/2014)

Barely minutes after controversial Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik joined the BJP on Sunday, Twitter was overcome with outrage over the party's decision. And as soon as reports of him being forced to exit came in, Twitter decided to pat its back.

Muthalik became the face of a huge controversy in 2009 after members of his Sri Ram Sene attacked a Mangalore pub and allegedly assaulted women inside. He is also infamous for his opposition to Valentine's Day. This drove Twitter users to spend all Sunday criticising the BJP's decision to bring him under its fold.

"Lovely move by BJP to get in Pramod Muthalik: they'd already alienated Muslims, now it's time to alienate women and all other humans," tweeted popular stand-up artist Sorabh Pant.

Another user @MalikAshok tweeted: "Pramod Muthalik? Ridiculous. Is anybody in the BJP doing due diligence before handing out invitations to the first man at the door?"

#nomuthalik, #pinkchaddi, and #pramodmuthalik were trending on Twitter throughout the day. #pinkchaddi because "The Pink Chaddi Campaign" was a protest movement launched by a "consortium of pub-going, loose and forward women" in response to Sri Ram Sene's Mangalore pub attack.

But it wasn't like Twitter had it all out against Muthalik. A user, @kamleshksingh, among many others in Muthalik's favour, tweeted, "Why bring up Pramod Muthalik's recent past? Now, his agenda is development. Why can't people move on and bury women's riots for development?"

However, the swell against the saffron party's decision to induct Muthalik was so strong that such tweets looked like needles in a haystack.

The news of rejection of Muthalik's membership later in the day received a thumbs-up from the Twitterati. They seemed to take some credit for the BJP's decision. "GREAT NEWS! Pramod Muthalik inclusion into BJP suspended! Power of Twitter! Great super fast decision by @BJP4India @BJPRajnathSingh" tweeted @shHarranu.

Many were still not convinced after the BJP's decision against the Sri Ram Sene chief. "Muthalik will probably be welcomed back in if Modi wins. This is what you get when you opt for development," tweeted @KhariBiskut.

"People like Muthalik don't deserve a place in Politics. The fact the BJP wanted him in, and have now done a U-turn exposes their hypocrisy" tweeted another user, @TheIndianGunner, to his over 1,000 followers.

Muthalik's day out on Twitter:


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