Trust BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use the latter’s nonagenarian mother every time the latter finds himself in crisis.
Modi was widely condemned after his 96-year-old mother was taken out to withdraw money from an ATM in the aftermath of the demonetisation. His critics wondered which person in his or her 90s would visit banks or ATMs to fetch money. Others attacked Modi for using his mother for cheap electoral gains.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had famously tweeted, “Modi ji, you did not act properly by making your mother stand in queues. If at all standing in queues is a mandatory requirement, I myself will stand there. Will never ask my mother to stand in queues.”
मोदीजी ने राजनीति के लिए माँ को लाइन में लगा ठीक नहीं किया। कभी लाइन में लगना हो तो मैं ख़ुद लाइन में लगूँगा, माँ को लाइन में नहीं लगाउँगा pic.twitter.com/wEO1TYATO7
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 15, 2016
Little over a year later, Modi is facing a barrage of flak once again after one of his ministers posted the photo of Hiraben Modi in a bid to attack Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Vijay Sampla, who’s a minister of state for social justice in the Modi cabinet, wrote, “Our Beloved PM Shri @narendramodi ‘s Mother is still travelling in Auto, While @RahulGandhi ‘s Mother is the World’s 4th Wealthiest Politician!
— Vijay Sampla MoS (@vijay_sampla) May 4, 2018
The use of this photo was deemed in poor taste for many reasons. Some said that Modi’s frail looking mother, in her late 90s, allowed to allegedly travel in an auto rickshaw, spoke volumes of her prime minister son, who lived a VVIP life, but let his mother to fend for herself. Modi’s official residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg is spread over 12 acre. He frequently travels around the world in an exclusive plane, wears expensive clothes and sports designer sunglasses.
Twitter users were also quick to point out how the photo posted by Sampla was fake and had been badly photoshopped. Many felt that a ‘ghost’ was holding Modi’s mother’s right hand. A closer look at the photo indeed shows that someone is holding Hiraben just above her right elbow. But, the hand does not have a body.
This is how Twitter users reacted in shaming the minister for using a mother, in her late 90s, for cheap electoral gains.
Her son PM Modi earns a good salary, why can’t he look after her and his family? It’s a comment on the son. Or is he trying to gain political mileage out of the suffering of his mother. https://t.co/IfLecZqnGG
— shahid siddiqui (@shahid_siddiqui) May 6, 2018
Bhai, ye haath kiska hai? ?? pic.twitter.com/UCpklWzACm
— Punster® (@Pun_Starr) May 5, 2018
Shame: BJP minister Sampla tweets fake image of PM Modi’s mother https://t.co/kWoJ2duwIz
— Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizami_) May 6, 2018
— A Badrur Rahman (@badrurrahman) May 5, 2018
Not sure what positive image will get garnered by projecting him as a son who can’t ensure decent lifestyle for ageing mother
— Baba Blacksheep (@vvkarthik) May 6, 2018
From religion to mother, politicians can sell everything for power gains.
That Modi’s mother in a rickshaw picture cuts a sorry take.
I hope someone advises him to steer better course for political gains ahead. I am sure even Chanakya wouldn’t have recommended this travesty.
— richa singh (@richa_singh) May 5, 2018
Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment tweets a fake photoshopped photograph of Modi’s mother – Heeraben Modi – to fool countrymen.
— Rofl Republic (@i_theindian) May 5, 2018
What a ‘fake-full’ weekend this is turning out to be!?
First @ShashiTharoor and now @vijay_sampla?
Maybe the social media team handling his account & @PiyushGoyal is the same; but using a 4 year old pic of @narendramodi‘s mother to score political points is just not cool ? pic.twitter.com/zB0LLU5vvc
— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) May 6, 2018