BJP chief Rajnath Singh courted controversy on Monday after two tweets from his handle about half-an-hour apart created a flutter within the party over the Narendra Modi -centric poll campaign.
The first tweet – sent out at 1:17 pm – carried the slogan ‘Abki Baar, Bhajapa Sarkar (Time for Change, Time for BJP) along with Singh’s poster. The tweet went viral immediately with some interpreting it as ‘dilution’ of the Modi focus in BJP’s election strategy.
Within 33 minutes, however, a second tweet with Modi’s poster and the slogan — Bahut Hui Mehngai Ki Maar, Abki Baar Modi Sarkar ( Modi government this time to beat price rise) —was sent out to ‘address the controversy’.
The development comes a day after another Modi-centric slogan ‘har-har Modi’ landed in trouble on Sunday.
Dwarka Peeth Shankarachayra Swaroopanand Saraswati objected to the “politicization of the sacred mantra”. Modi subsequently requested supports to not use the slogan.
BJP’s official tagline for the poll campaign is ‘Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar’(This time, Modi government) but a section of the party has been uncomfortable with projecting Modi above the party.
The BJP, however, said no discomfort existed within the party on Modi’s PM candidature.
“Modi and BJP are no different. In the past too, there was no difference between Vajpayee and BJP. The media is reading too much into the tweets,” said BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Modi aide Amit Shah also dismissed the controversy. “There is no confusion in the party. Both slogans mean the same thing,” he said.
Sources close to Singh claim the first tweet –carrying the BJP president’s poster – was meant only for Singh’s social media platform and not the party. “A BJP government has to be led by Narendra Modi. We have announced him as our PM candidate. Where is the ambiguity?” they asked, arguing that Singh was entitled to some publicity material for himself.
The first tweet mentioned Singh’s website, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube account and “anybody could make out it was his personal publicity material, his aides argued.