Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi engage in a tweet war

Uday Deb

A Twitter war has erupted on the social media platform between the BJP leaders and Congress supporters after the former alleged that Russian social media users were responsible the sudden spike in the Twitter posts of Rahul Gandhi.

News reports say Gandhi has gained some one million Twitter followers over the past two months. The Union Minister Smriti Irani said that the Congress leader can not win the Gujarat Assembly election with these attempts and further wished the Rahul Gandhi on the occasion of the Gujarati New Year.

On October 15, Rahul had tweeted "Modi ji quick; looks like President Trump needs another hug" along with a screenshot of US President Donald Trump's tweet on an improved US-Pakistan relationship. There were also reports that Rahul, who has a lot fewer followers than Modi, has been getting more retweets than the prime minister.

"Mitron, Shah-Zade ke bare mein na bolunga, na bolne dunga (Friends, I will neither speak about Shah's son nor allow others to speak)", Gandhi tweeted. "Desperate times call for desperate measures", he tweeted.

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Responding to Irani's tweet, that bots could have pushed Rahul's tweets, Spandana wrote, "Why do we need them when we have you?"

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. The verbal fight is likely to intensify after Rahul Gandhi launched scathing attacks on BJP ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat. She added that the story was "factually wrong" and that it was an attempt to "please the I&B ministry and the Bots Janata Party".

The BJP has rubbished the allegation, saying Jay Shah's business was perfectly legitimate and legal. Why is he not speaking about how the turnover of a company owned by Shahzada's son rose 16,000 times in a year. "Joke is on you", Chaturvedi tweeted.

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 anxious he has the BJP". "Who is retweeting and not retweeting it is hardly important", Singh said.

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