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Modi’s comparison of Badal with Mandela draws caustic remarks

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comparison of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with towering South African leader, Nelson Mandela, unleashed a stream of mirthful comments on the Twitter.

Narendra Modi made the remark about Badal during a programme organised in New Delhi on Sunday to commemorate the 113th birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan. He said that Badal had been put in jail for nearly two decades solely for political reasons and just because he had opposed those in power.

While the Punjab CM too has claimed on numerous occasions that he has spent nearly 17-18 years in jail, including the time spent behind bars during the emergency, his contention has often been debated in political circles in the state. But the PM’s remark became a butt of one-liners on Twitter ridiculing the comparison.

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, tweeted a question soon after PM’s remark, ‘Badal Nelson Mandela of India?”.

Supreme Court Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde tweeted, “That he spent years in prison for Sikh Panth in Bhindrawale and Post Blue Star era”.

Former Chief Minister and Deputy Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Capt Amarinder Singh also reacted to the statement and said, “Who says PM has no sense of humour? Either it is a tongue in cheek comment or the PM does not know what he is talking about. It is an insult to Nelson Mandela to compare someone like Badal with him”. Singh later reacted on Twitter too and said, “Who says our PM has no sense of humour. Let’s hope, like Mandela, Bharat Ratna/ Nobel Prize next for Badal.

Tweets referring to Punjab’s drugs problem and the business empire of the Badal family were also made, apart from the ongoing farmers’ agitation that has blocked the railway traffic for five consecutive days now.

Not to be left behind, President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Partap Singh Bajwa, tweeted, “Dear PM please have some pity on the legendary Nelson Mandela. Don’t compare him with Ali Baba of Punjab”. Bajwa tweeted another caustic remark saying, “Under Badal government farmers are dying, 70 per cent youth of Punjab is hooked to drugs, and PM Modi calls Badal Nelson Mandela of India”. (With inputs from agencies)