‘Yamraj’ to ‘stupid PM’: How Rashid Alvi’s remarks on Modi backfired

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 17, 2016 18:42 IST
Congress leader Rashid Alvi

The Congress’ Rashid Alvi has done it again. His latest attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has triggered a war of words with union education minister Smriti Irani and a storm on Twitter.

So what happened?
Alvi told HRD minister Smriti Irani at an event that in Google search Narendra Modi is the “most stupid PM in the world.”

What does it mean?
Alvi’s below-the-belt attack on Modi was aimed to create a fresh controversy. He also perhaps tried to score a brownie point with Congress.

What happens next?
Irani gave a befitting reply. Congress may not back Alvi on this issue.

Irani hits back

Irani, sitting on the dais, didn’t hesitate to hit back. “In Congress, those who abuse Narendra Modi are favoured by its leadership. People often forget that Modi is the Prime Minister of the country while spitting poison against him,” she said.

Irani also took offence at the way Alvi addressed her. “How he uses words to address a woman minister when he says, ‘it is heard that you are very close to Modi’. We live with such poison every day,” she said.

Alvi has burnt his fingers earlier too

This is not the first time Alvi has burnt his fingers by commenting on Narendra Modi. In 2013, Alvi, at a press conference in party headquarters, had slammed Modi as “Yamraaj”—the God of death, invoking sharp reactions.

The Congress party subsequently removed him from the post of national spokesperson and even struck off Alvi’s name from the national media panel—a body comprising of leaders who are allowed to speak on behalf of the party in different forums.

Alvi, who joined the Congress from BSP, had courted controversies earlier too. When Anna Hazare led the Lokpal movement in Delhi, Alvi had alleged that the US might be funding the agitation, an embarrassing charge from the ruling party’s podium for the UPA government.

When Alvi got trolled

On Twitter, Alvi was trolled. “Rashid Alvi is a Coward,” said one tweet. “Words used by Rashid Alvi show the cheap mindset of Congress leaders,” said another tweet.

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