Manish Tewari uses offensive language for 'bhakts'; BJP slams Congress leader

On September 08, Digvijaya Singh had stoked controversy by posting a tweet that had used abusive language against PM Modi.

Manish Tewari uses offensive language for 'bhakts'; BJP slams Congress leader
File photo

New Delhi: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Sunday stirred a controversy when he used an abusive word for 'bhakts' while responding to a Twitter user, evoking sharp reactions from the BJP.

He was using bhakts to refer to those who support and back PM Narendra Modi. 

Tewari tweeted, "This is what it means to make ******** followers and make fools out of bhakts. Even Mahatma Gandhi cannot teach Modi patriotism."

He was responding to a remark made by a person called Deepak Kumar Singh on the micro-blogging website that patriotism is in the DNA of PM Modi and even Mahatma Gandhi cannot teach him that.

It was made in response to a video clip put up by Tewari about a 'gaffe' committed by the PM abroad when he had started walking even as the national anthem was being played.

Incidentally, the Congress leader posted the offensive tweet just hours after he wished the PM Modi on his birthday.

Reacting sharply, BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said a desperate Congress and its leaders have "lost their mental balance" after being rejected by people.

"A depressed Congress has become an expired bubble of abuses. When they do not have logic they take to such cheap language. The Congress has been rejected by the people and since then its leaders have lost their mental balance. They are in need of urgent psychiatric treatment," he told PTI.

The minister added that it was unfortunate that they have forgotten the dignity and decorum politics requires while targeting the BJP and the PM.

"It shows the mental state of the Congress and its leaders. The Congress leadership under Sonia Gandhi should apologise for this," he said.

By using such language, leaders like Tewari will destroy whatever little support base the Congress has been left with, Naqvi further said.

Another BJP leader Sambit Patra said that since Tewari is the spokesperson of the party Sonia and Rahul Gandhi (Congress VP) needed to explain why he did so.

He used the words of Congress leader Jairam Ramesh to hit out at the Congress, saying "the Sultanate has gone but the Sultans still behave as if they are still Sultans".

The issue also led to a major row on the social media with trolls targeting Tewari. A hashtag - #CongLeaderAbusesPM - was also used and evoked sharp reactions from twitterati.

However later, the Congress leader clarified and said that he had put out the video ostensibly showing PM Modi walking while National Anthem was playing in response to someone's tweet and that he had meant no offence to the Prime Minister.

In a series of tweets Tewari wrote:

Earlier, on September 08, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had also stoked controversy by posting a tweet that had used abusive language against PM Modi, prompting the BJP to demand an apology from his party for the 'filthy abuse'.

Singh had later disowned it, saying retweets are not endorsements.

"Retweets are never endorsements. This is the basic principle of Twitter. I have said it is not mine. I have disowned it. I have not used those words. My tweet does not endorse this. My words are that he is the best in the 'art of fooling'. Is it abusive?" he had said.

"Not mine but couldn't help posting it. My apologies to the person concerned. He is the best in the "Art of Fooling!"," Singh had said while posting a picture of PM Modi with the offensive tweet.

Later at the party briefing, Congress media in-charge Randeep Surjewala had said, "Digvijaya Singh has already spoken about it and clarified the issue. I think there is nothing further to add in the matter," PTI reported.

On the other hand, BJP spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao had lashed out at Singh, saying Opposition leaders like him have "degenerated into abusive trolls" after repeated electoral drubbings.

Singh's "crass comments demonstrate the degeneration of a party that prides itself on a great legacy. These comments amount to insulting 130 crore people of India whose mandate is vested in the prime minister," Rao had said.

(With Agency inputs)