New Delhi: When it comes to using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to his advantage, very few can match newly-appointed Minister of State for Human Resources Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor's battle skills.
Tharoor hit back at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in his own inimitable style for calling his wife Sunanda Pushkar "a 50 crore girlfriend". Modi was alluding to the cricket controversy in 2010 involving Pushkar which led to Tharoor's resignation as Minister of State for External Affairs.
"My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need to be able to love someone to understand that," Tharoor tweeted to his 1.5 million followers on Twitter. It got retweeted over 800 times, sparking a Twitter clash between his and Modi's followers.
Admittedly, Tharoor's counter-attack was more sentimental compared to Modi's biting sarcasm on Monday while addressing a public rally as part of the campaign for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. Though the BJP strongman didn't directly name either Tharoor or Pushkar, it was amply clear whom he was referring to.
"There was a Congress leader who was a minister in Parliament. He was accused of amassing wealth from cricket. He had said in Parliament that he is not connected to the Rs 50 crore in the lady's name. Have you ever heard of Rs 50 crore girlfriend?" Modi had said.
Modi did not stop at Tharoor. He mocked the Prime Minister, calling him 'Maun' Mohan Singh and took a jibe at Sonia Gandhi saying "she does not know how to run kitchen".
Tharoor is not new to Twitter controversies. He ran into trouble for a sarcastic response to a query that he would travel "cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!" He had to later apologise for the comment.
But Modi didn't have it easy either. It was recently reported that nearly half of Modi's one million followers on Twitter are fake. An internet tool called 'Status People', created by a group of engineers in London, was used to track Modi's inactive users.
@narendramodi My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need2be able2love some1 2understand that— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 30, 2012