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Modi chaiwala meme: BJP worked up, Congress in spot ahead of Gujarat polls

In 2014, Modi was so enthused by cheering crowds while calling himself a 'chaiwala' that he launched a campaign 'chai pe charcha' to connect with voters

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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In a potentially self-damaging act ahead of the Gujarat polls, the Congress' youth wing today circulated a meme about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'chaiwala' past, provoking a backlash from the BJP, and prompting a red-faced Congress to distance from it. The meme that unleashed a political firestorm contained photographs of Modi, US president and British Prime Minister engaged in a conversation. ALSO READ: Congress gets slammed over youth wing's 'chaiwala' jibe at PM Modi Modi is seen telling the two leaders about the opposition's memes targeting him. He mispronounces the word as "mainmain". Trump corrects him, saying the word is pronounced as "meem", while May tells him to go and sell tea. Though the meme was removed soon after it was put out, the Congress faced a virtual fusillade from the BJP which excoriated the opposition party for targeting the prime minister over his humble background, and demanding an explanation whether the meme had the approval of the party leadership. Gujarat Chief Minister said in a tweet:

Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, and also hit out at the Congress over the post. The official Twitter handle of BJP chief retweeted all such posts put out by the ministers. Union minister said in a series of tweets: He said the country expects the two leaders to respond to the meme which is "shameful and insulting" to the poor, he said. Moving in to contain the damage, Congress communications in charge took to Twitter, saying: An off the cuff remark by senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that Modi can never become the prime minister, and that if he wants the party can give him a place at its convention to sell tea, had given the then BJP's prime ministerial nominee a stick to beat the Congress with. Rally after election rally, Modi targeted the Congress over Aiyar's jibe to claim the then ruling party at the Centre was anti-poor. Modi was, in fact, so enthused by the response that he got from cheering crowds while calling himself a 'chaiwala' that he even launched a campaign 'chai pe charcha' to connect with voters. Recalling the price the Congress paid for the swipe, Conference chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister tweeted: Union minister tweeted: Another union minister said: Chastised, the Indian Youth Congress, apologised for the meme. chief Amarinder Singh Raja tweeted:

First Published: Wed, November 22 2017. 08:14 IST