NEW DELHI: Social media undoubtedly has become central to politics. If Prime Minister Modi was kept busy by social media honchos in the on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi resurfaced via Twitter on Monday — to prove that he was indeed at the ‘Charlie Rose Weekend’ retreat in Aspen, Colorado, US.
Even as the PM enthralled his audience at the Facebook Townhall, Rahul, it seems, was listening to a discussion on the ‘disruptive power of tech’ with rapt attention. He later posted a photograph of his with a tweet: “Very interesting discussion on the global economy & the disruptive power of tech at the conference in Aspen.”
His friend Milind Deora tweeted two more photos of Rahul and himself with Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and Rahul’s with former UK foreign secretary David Miliband. All of them, it’s deduced were attending the “international conference” with Rose. Interestingly, Deora too has been missing from the political scene ever since he lost his South Mumbai seat in 2014 elections and and the demise of his father Murli Deora. The Aspen Times, a local newspaper, reported that details about an Aspen conference billed a ‘Weekend with Charlie Rose’ were rather limited, but thanks to the political flare-up in India, some light has been shed on the private affair. It added that the conference began Thursday and ended Monday.
However, having quizzed the Congress on Rahul’s whereabouts, the BJP was not ready to back off. Party spokesperson MJ Akbar wondered, “where was he all the last 14 days?” and, again referred to the Congress leader as the “spoilt child of Indian politics.”
His remarks invited retaliation and more. The Prime Minister’s corruption jibe that “someone made `50 crore, someone’s son made `250 crore, daughter `500 crore and son-in-law `1000 crore” had the Congress up in arms. The ‘son-in-law’ was read as a hint at Robert Vadra. Congress leader Anand Sharma doubted the PM’s story that his mother had to do the dishes and other such chores in the neighbourhood to raise him. He claimed Modi, who had not invited his mother for his swearing-in, was, in fact, insulting her.
Sharma also said the PM came from a humble background like other politicians, but added that his childhood was not steeped in such poverty that his mother had to wash utensils. “His father was a canteen contractor,” he claimed and also demanded a probe into the funding of Modi’s foreign rallies.
In a stinging retort, MJ Abkar said the Congress was being ‘appalling and pathetic’ and spreading malicious untruths out of frustration. He recalled that Modi had touched his mother’s feet after he won the elections. He also added that Modi’s devotion to his mother was not like Sonia Gandhi’s devotion to her “inept son who is ruining the Congress and may also, given a chance, ruin the nation.”