Prime Minister Narendra on Sunday likened Punjab chief minister and his close ally Prakash Singh Badal with the Nobel laureate and the icon of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela.
On Sunday morning he tweeted from his @PMOIndia twitter handle, “Badal sahab is sitting here…he is the Nelson Mandela of India. He has spent so many years in prison and that too for political reasons:PM.”
His tweet caused huge outrage on social media with users slamming and mocking him. Both his political detractors and journalists took to twitter to express their outrage. #YoBadalSoMandela was soon a top national trend.
Badal Sahab is sitting here…he is the Nelson Mandela of India. He has spent so many years in prison & that too for political reasons: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) October 11, 2015
Veteran journalist Nikhil Wagle sarcastically wrote;
I am convinced Modi is d greatest PM we have ever had! Just like Prakash Singh Badal is Nelson Mandela of India ! #ModiMaharajkijai
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) October 11, 2015
Well known poet and Aam Aadmi Party leader Dr Kumar Vishwas ‘congratulated’ people of Punjab for getting their ‘own Mandela.’
— Dr Kumar Vishvas (@DrKumarVishwas) October 11, 2015
Entrepreneur Mahesh Murthy asked if Mandela’s sons were also responsible for looting South Africa as Badal family members are being accused of.
— Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy) October 11, 2015
User @Komal_Indian tweeted a quote by South African legend laying emphasis on education. She said just ‘replace education with drugs’ for it to become a Badal quote.
— कोमल 🙂 ?? (@Komal_Indian) October 11, 2015
User Kunal Sehgal tweeeted an old pic of Badal with Modi referring both the leaders as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi instead.
Mahatma Gandhi with Nelson Mandela ??
— Kunal Sehgal ?? (@iambeingkunal) October 11, 2015
User @aartic02 took a dig with this tweet.
— Aarti (@aartic02) October 11, 2015
User @rohanldias tweeted;
— The Rum Keg (@rohanldias) October 11, 2015
@MangoBwoy suggested that by Modi’s logic the rape accused Asaram had already become ‘25% Mandela.’
More Asaram Bapu stays in jail more he becomes Nelson Mandela. Now may b he is 25% Nelson Mandela #YoBadalSoMandela
— শেখর | شکر (@MangoBwoy) October 11, 2015
Punjab, which is currently being ruled by Badal’s Akali Dal and the BJP, has seen an alarming rise in drug problem in recent years with opposition accusing the ruling alliance of doing very little to check the growth of drug menace.
While campaigning for Lok Sabha elections Modi had promised voters to put a lid on the drugs being pushed into Indian territory from across the border if BJP-led government came at the Centre. But, recently many BJP leaders in Punjab were arrested with hundreds of kilos of drugs by Rajasthan police.
Last year in May, Senior Akali leader and state minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur had to even resign on moral grounds when his son’s name figured in drug trade in May.
Punjab is scheduled to go for polls in 2017 and drug menace, which many say has destroyed a generation, will be a huge election issue then.