‘Loser’; ‘get out of the way’; ‘selfish’; ‘an item girl’. Adjectives one would hesitate to use for one’s most bitter enemies were in full flow on new media platforms, as the fault-lines within the BJP became public.
It took less than a day for pro-BJP, particularly pro-Narendra-Modi warriors on the social media to turn against L K Advani, the original Hindutva ideologue and the patriarch who had played a major role in building the party organisation.
Through the weekend, with Mr. Advani’s decision to skip the party conclave in Goa and the simmering tensions, there was a sense of restlessness among Mr. Modi’s loyalists on Twitter. This turned to jubilation once the decision to appoint him as the campaign committee chair was declared. But as news of Mr. Advani’s resignation from party platforms broke on Monday morning, the celebration turned to fury and sarcasm in the pro-Modi camp.
Sekhar Idury tweeted, “Advani is that kid from my childhood who used to walk away with the bat and ball after getting out.” Sumeet Garg said, “Person who wanted to make a party with a difference is now hell-bent on making differences in party.”
A fake handle, NotRahu1Gandhi, had earlier written, “LKA is behaving like a girl who was hired to an item dance in the film and is now sulking coz she wants to be lead actress.” On Monday, he added, “Rather than Ayushman Khuranna, he should’ve been lead actor in Nautanki Saala.” Promzz tweeted, “Get out Advani, we have no patience for losers.” Truth Hurts said, “Let Advaniji take care of his health. BJP will lose deposit if he made PM probable.”
Mr. Modi has often highlighted how social media is an effective tool in political communication, and urged his party to embrace it. His supporters on Tuesday appeared to internalise the message, as they mocked Mr. Advani for his age, the electoral defeat in 2009, and his perceived ambition with the choicest of abuses.