Last month it was reported that PM Modi had lectured his partymen on the virtues of silence. He had cautioned party functionaries to keep quiet and not get carried away while making statements on “relevant issues”. He advised that such statements should be left to spokespersons. Perhaps the message did not reach Haryana.
Today, it has been reported that Haryana Cabinet Minister Anil Vij who is notorious for making controversial statements has now compared Congress President Rahul Gandhi to the deadly Nipah Virus.
राहुल गांधी #निपाह वायरस के समान है । जो भी राजनीतिक पार्टी इसके सम्पर्क में आएगी वह फना हो जाएगी ।
— ANIL VIJ MINISTER HARYANA (@anilvijminister) May 27, 2018
ANI news too reported the same:
Rahul Gandhi is similar to #NipahVirus, which ever Party he comes in contact with, that Party will be finished. They (parties) are trying to come together (in alliance) but they will be finished off: Haryana Minister Anil Vij pic.twitter.com/wt01o8npmc
— ANI (@ANI) May 29, 2018
In the battle of social media one-up-man-ship, Vij seems to have crossed a line. Vij, though, is no stranger to controversy. In 2016 he had claimed that the CID was spying on him. He had also commented on another occasion that Modi was a better brand than Mahatma Gandhi:
It’s good that Modi’s photo replaced that of Gandhi’s in the calendar. Modi is a better brand name
He later had to withdraw this comment.
Using a deadly virus to attack a politician does not seem to be a new stunt though in Indian politics. While Kejriwal had called himself a “dengue mosquito”, an NDTV journalist had gotten very excited by the prospect of then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi being possibly infected by the Swine Flu virus:
Narendra Modi has swine flu- i don’t know why but this news is really exciting me
— sunetra choudhury (@sunetrac) October 30, 2009