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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Slugfest erupts on Twitter over Tamil film Mersal, Amit Shah’s son

A war of words broke out over Twitter where BJP ministers lashed out at Rahul Gandhi’s tweets.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2017 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Combination photograph of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Union HRD minister Smriti Irani.
Combination photograph of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Union HRD minister Smriti Irani.(Agencies)

Amid an all-out attack on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly using bots to popularise his tweets, he hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, this time defending Mersal, a Tamil film that ridicules the Goods and Services Tax and the Digital India campaign.

Countering the BJP’s opposition to some scenes in the film, the Congress leader tweeted, “Mr. Modi, Cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language. Don't try to demon-etise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal.”

In the film, popular Tamil actor Vijay is seen mocking the new tax regime and the Digital India campaign. BJP’s state president in Tamil Nadu TN Soudarrajan had demanded that all those scenes which “convey wrong impression” be removed.

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia also lashed out at the BJP and tweeted, “Agree! Let's fix the problems with GST instead of re-censoring a movie..”

BJP leaders however, focused their attack on alleged bots used by the Congress to boost Gandhi’s tweets, an allegation countered by the party.

Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister minister Smriti Irani tweeted, “Perhaps @OfficeOfRG planning to sweep polls in Russia, Indonesia & Kazakhstan ?? #RahulWaveInKazakh,” as many alleged ‘bots’ had Russian, Kazakh or Indonesian characteristics.

“In sports, this would come under ‘Doping’.... hey wait! does ‘dope’ remind you of someone,” tweeted Rajyavardhan Rathore, MoS (independent) for youth affairs and sports.

In turn, Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi took digs at Irani, indirectly referring to her defeat against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the last Lok Sabha polls. “Troll Minister please remind us the last election YOU sweeped? You can't be so jobless so as to now check RTs&followers! Joke is on you,” Chaturvedi tweeted.

Gandhi’s earlier tweet on a court order regarding BJP chief Amit Shah’s son’s business evoked an angry response from the BJP, with Irani taking digs that such attempts can’t win Gujarat polls. “A person out on bail mocks the courts. Lage raho Bhai Gujarat phir bhi haroge.. Saal Mubarak,” Irani tweeted after Gandhi responded to a report on a Gujarat court barring publication of news on Jay Shah on Friday. Elections in Gujarat, where the Congress is out of power for more than twenty years, are due this year.

Quoting the news report, Gandhi said on the micro-blogging site, “Friends, will not speak about ‘Shah-zada’, nor will let anyone speak,” in an apparent attack on Modi and BJP brass.

While Gandhi’s tweet also had a pun on demonetisation, an exercise vehemently opposed by the Congress and many other Opposition parties he, however, found support from leaders like former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, who tweeted, “If I was Rahul Gandhi I’d be rubbing my hands with glee.The planted stories, the coordinated attack all highlight how worried he has the BJP.”

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 00:01 IST

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