When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s released his fitness challenge video, it prompted the opposition to slam him alleging that he was trying to divert the public’s attention from his poor governance. The release of the video had also coincided with prices of petrol and diesel spiralling out of control.
Then there were questions raised on how Modi had hired an expensive multi-camera set-up to ensure that he looked flawless in his fitness video. The photos ( see below) of cameras stationed across the ground on the lawn of his official residence had gone viral on social media. The prime minister had then received a blunt reply from Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who he had nominated to take up the fitness challenge next.
In his terse response, Kumaraswamy had said, “Dear @narendramodi ji I am honoured & thankU very much for d concern about my health I believe physical fitness is imptnt for all & support d cause. Yoga-treadmill r part of my daily workout regime. Yet, I am more concerned about devlpment fitness of my state & seek ur support for it. (sic)”
What went largely unnoticed was the comment made by actor Shilpa Shetty, who declared Modi a ‘yogi (saint).’ In her response to the photos of Modi indulging himself in various workouts, Shilpa wrote, “A true Yogi you are adarniya @narendramodi.”
This did not appear to go down well with her fans with many terming her a ‘sycophant.’ One user sarcastically wrote, “Shilpa Shetty slides into Modiji’s DM (direct message) and is like adarniya sahab I have commented on your post and now pls help my husband come out clean in the bitcoin and RR betting investigations.” Another one wrote, “I think you are high on drugs… He is an actor…Soldiers are getting martyred left and right…He is busy photo ops.” One fan said, “And you are a true actor, who never leaves acting anywhere.” Another fan wrote, “Oh you such a fake. Not expected from you though. You’ll loose (sic) your support on this. Narendra Modi is a poison to all Indians.”
This is not the first time Shilpa has expressed his admiration for Modi and his known supporters. In 2014, immediately after the BJP won a landslide in the Lok Sabha polls, Shilpa had publicly congratulated Modi. She had said, “I congratulate Mr Modi and BJP for winning by such a huge margin…It goes to show that people of India are looking for a positive change and I just hope and pray the new government can make India a safer and better place, focusing especially on employment, education, medical, safety and infrastructure among other things.”