Fitness challenge takes political twist on Twitter as Rahul Gandhi dares Modi to cut fuel prices
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Fitness challenge takes political twist on Twitter as Rahul Gandhi dares Modi to cut fuel prices

Rajyavardhan Rathore’s fitness challenge was taken up by stars such as Virat Kohli but the Twitter campaign took a political turn with Rahul Gandhi throwing a “fuel challenge” at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

india Updated: May 24, 2018 20:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Fitness challenge,Narendra Modi,Rahul Gandhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing yoga on 3rd International Yoga Day in Lucknow on June 21, 2017. The PM accepted the ‘fitness challenge’ from cricketer Virat Kohli prompting opposition parities to challenge him on other issues.(PTI File Photo)

It all began with the minister of state for sports and youth affairs, and former Olympic champion Rajyavardhan Rathore shooting a video on Tuesday and triggering a chain of responses spanning the world of sports, films, even politics.

On Tuesday, Rathore, as a part of a campaign, HumFitTohIndiaFit, tweeted a video of himself exercising in office. “Post pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media. Here’s my video.” The minister then tagged actor Hrithik Roshan, badminton champion Saina Nehwal and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.

Roshan and Nehwal took up the challenge. The campaign went viral with other ministers joining in, but it was Kohli who introduced a twist in the tale. He not only posted a video of himself exercising but threw open a challenge to his wife, the actor Anushka Sharma, his cricketing colleague M S Dhoni, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

On Thursday morning, Modi tweeted, “Challenge accepted Virat! I will be sharing my own #FitnessChallenge video soon.”

Even as the world of Twitter waited for the PM to post his video, opposition parties saw an opportunity to challenge Modi on other issues.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was quick to tweet, “Dear PM, Glad to see you accept the @imVkohli fitness challenge. Here’s one from me: Reduce Fuel prices or the Congress will do a nationwide agitation and force you to do so. I look forward to your response.” Gandhi ended his tweet with the hashtag FuelChallenge.

The last word has not been spoken as the fitness challenge turns into a new theatre for political oneupmanship.

First Published: May 24, 2018 20:29 IST