BJP worker attempts damage control

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with BJP functionaries of Puducherry, through video conferencing from Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with BJP functionaries of Puducherry, through video conferencing from Delhi.   | Photo Credit: M_SAMRAJ


The BJP worker, who saw the evasive reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his innocuous poser at a recent video-conference go viral on the Internet and cause embarrassment for the ruling party besides getting milked by political rivals in their fusillade against the PM, is back on social media — this time with an apparent damage-control motive.

In a little over a minute-long video appeal, Mr. Jain, who introduced himself as a long-time BJP member, cut straight to the December 19 episode of ‘Mere Booth Sabse Majboot’. After showering fulsome praise on Mr. Modi for responding to and reassuring “small fry” like him, the city-based trader went on to blame a section of the media for putting a spin on the episode.

He concluded with an appeal to the media to stop the misleading campaign.

During the December 19 videoconferencing event where Mr. Modi interacted with booth workers of the party, Nirmal Kumar Jain had beseeched the PM to take care of the middle class, the base of the party, which he said was being taxed in every manner, be it Income Tax or loan processing or bank transaction fees.

Avoiding a direct reply, Mr. Modi responded: “You are a trader, so it’s natural that you will talk business. I am inclined to take care of common people and they will be taken care of, I assure you.”

Then, by way of breaking the awkward silence that followed, and to signal that he was moving on to the next question, Mr. Modi had said “Chaliye Puducherry ko Vanakkam”, little realising that this would turn into a catch-phrase among political rivals in the following days.

While hopefully for the unfortunate trader, the clarification would unload a monkey off his back, it is unlikely to stop the memes and trolls — one post on Sunday even linked to Amazon tees emblazoned with ‘Chaliye Puducherry ko Vanakkam’ under the fashion category of the e-commerce enterprise. Meanwhile, a Twitter thread has some users mock-praying for his safety while others have dismissed the video appeal as one scripted by the party bosses.


Time management is most important aspect of any function — formal or informal. The other day, Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi who was scheduled to inaugurate the two-day conference of Vice-Chancellors of Universities in the South Zone came late by over an hour. All the invitees present at the convention-cum-cultural complex were virtually keeping their fingers crossed about the function.

But Pondicherry University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Gurmeet Singh hit upon an idea of keeping all the V-Cs from different universities engaged till the arrival of Ms. Bedi. Mr. Singh asked everyone to introduce themselves and give a background of their institution This went on for nearly 40 minutes and proved to an intelligent plan of the V-C to manage time.

By the time Ms. Bedi arrived, the self-introduction was over and the V-C registered a success in his plan. Such a strategy is hardly seen particularly when the invitees were more than 80 at the venue.

Contributed by M. Dinesh Varma and S. Prasad

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:31:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/bjp-worker-attempts-damage-control/article25867965.ece

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