Modi’s minister from Odisha calls Bal Gangadhar Tilak as Punjab Kesri


Union Petrolium Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday wrongly addressed the freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, as Punjab Kesari instead of Lokamanya on his birth anniversary on 23 July causing unending embarrassment for himself and the BJP.

A red-faced Pradhan was later forced to delete the tweet and replace it with a fresh tweet correctly referring Gangadhar as Lokamanya.

Pradhan’s Twitter gaffe earned him plenty of Twitter ridicule as users began to mock his poor knowledge on the heroes of India’s freedom struggle.

Many ridiculed how despite being a union minister, Pradhan had incorrectly mixed up the lion of Punjab Lala Lajpat Rai with that of Maharashtra’s Lokamanya Tilak.

It took Pradhan two hours to realise his gaffe. As expected, he deleted the tweet, but users had taken the screenshot by then.

Pradhan is all set to be projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial face on Odisha assembly polls when the saffron party attempts to dislodge the state’s Naveen Patnaik government.

Pradhan making this mistake assumes significance in light of his efforts in sensitising the pioneering role of Paika Rebellion of 1817 from Odisha as the first independent movement and subsequently prompting the present Odisha government to pass a cabinet resolution writing a letter to the government of India to recognise it as the first war of independence in place of Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.