Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comparison of Kerala with Somalia during a Bharatiya Janata Party rally in Kasargod has not gone down well with the citizens of the state.
“The unemployment rate in Kerala is at least three times higher than the national average. Infant mortality rate among the Scheduled Tribe community in Kerala is worse than Somalia,” Malayalam newspaper Kerala Kaumudi quoted Modi as saying.
Chief minister Oommen Chandy wrote a stinging letter to Modi after his speech, saying it was a “blatant lie” and “unbecoming of a Prime Minister”.
“You made statements that had nothing to do with reality and likened Kerala to Somalia. This is unbecoming of a prime minister and has created a great deal of agony,” Chandy said in his letter.
“What was your motive behind saying such a blatant lie to the people of Kerala?” he asked.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury also hit out at Modi for comparing Kerala to the sub-Saharan African nation. “Somalia’s HDI is 0.285 (ranking: 229), Kerala’s is 0.712. India’s ONLY high HDI state, it’d rank 104 globally. So much for the comparison,” Yechury tweeted.
The comparison also triggered scathing reactions on Twitter from people of the state, where the Prime Minister’s party has never won a seat in the assembly. Tweeple used Malayalam superstar Mohanlal’s iconic dialogue - Po mone Dinesha - in his hit movie Narasimham to troll Modi’s comment.
Many tweeted their reactions using the hashtag #pomoneModi - roughly translates to- ‘go home, kid’.
Here is a lowdown of what happened on Twitter:
Po as in paw. #PoMoneModi roughly translates to "get lost Modi". It is a rehash of Mohanlal's dialogue in Narasimham movie: Po Mone Dinesha— sebinaj (@sebinaj) May 10, 2016
When you go to a state and ask for their votes, you don't insult them as 'a Beemaru state' or comparing to Somalia. #PoMoneModi— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) May 11, 2016
In Kerala there is enough food for everyone. In Gujarat malnourishment is attributed to bad fashion choices. #PoMoneModi— Entire Brumby (@brumbyOz) May 11, 2016
When he hurt Bihari pride, Bihar paid him back. Now it's Kerala's turn #PoMoneModi— Saptarshi Basu (@sabeaux) May 11, 2016
A PM drawing parallels between a state with the highest HDI & Somalia is just so so crass & acerbic. #PoMoneModi— SamSays (@samjawed65) May 10, 2016
What else can you expect from a person who said female Malnutrition in high in Gujarat because they were dieting? #PoMoneModi— Weed (@goonerblues) May 10, 2016