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Nihalani is 'proud to be PM's chamcha'. But are BJP CMs far behind?

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 9 June 2016, 15:59 IST
QUICK PILL
The address
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the United States Congress on 8 June
  • Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states went overboard praising the speech on Twitter
The confession
  • On the same day, Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani admitted he was the PM\'s chamcha (stooge)
  • He even wondered what was wrong with being a stooge
More in the story
  • Two BJP CMs were conspicuous by their absence in this chorus of praise - who were they?
  • Which Union minister went ga-ga, with six tweets on the speech?

This week saw a strange synergy between two entirely unrelated events - the Bollywood movie Udta Punjab's run-in with the Central Board of Film Certification, colloquially known as the Censor Board, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's five-nation tour.

The day the controversy over the Censor Board's unbelievable list of 89 cuts in the movie broke out, #UdtaPunjab started trending on Twitter. Along with it, another hashtag that soon started trending was #UdtaPM, a dig at Modi's frequent travels abroad.

As the week progressed, makers of Udta Punjab and many others in the Hindi film industry decided to take Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani head-on. They alleged his decision was motivated by politics and called him a 'chamcha' (stooge) of Modi.

While the PM hopped from one continent to the next, Nihalani decided to accept the tag once and for all, and declared that he was indeed the PM's stooge. He even ventured to enquire what was wrong with that, asking if he was supposed to become the Italian PM's stooge instead.

Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani accepted the tag of the PM's chamcha (stooge) on Wednesday

While nobody has challenged what seems to be Nihalani's strong belief that it is compulsory to be somebody's chamcha in life, he does deserve a pat on his back for proudly owning up to what many others are doing without confessing.

As Modi's address to the US Congress hit our television screens on Wednesday evening, an array of BJP leaders took to Twitter to laud the PM and his speech. They really were at their sycophantic best on 8 June.

Interestingly, these tweets were mostly from Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states. National BJP leaders and Union ministers in Modi's cabinet have been known to sing his paeans earlier, but this time, for some unknown reason, most of them kept away. Take a look at members of this elite fan club and their statements.

Raman Singh

The Chhattisgarh CM was at the front of the queue. Showering the most eloquent praises on the PM, Singh likened the speech to Swami Vivekananda's address to the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Maharashtra CM felt that Modi's speech received 'uncountable' applause and it proved that the latter was a 'world-leader'.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

The Madhya Pradesh CM sent out at least four tweets, calling the speech 'brilliant' as well as 'excellent'.

Sarbananda Sonowal

The newly-elected Assam CM was content with the fact that the speech received a standing ovation and appeared pretty sure that it 'mesmerised' the US Congress.

Anandiben Patel

The Gujarat CM, who is looking after Modi's home turf, felt the address was already 'historic'.

Manohar Lal Khattar

The Haryana CM agreed with his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh that it was indeed an excellent speech.

Raghubar Das

The Jharkhand CM tweeted his complements in Hindi, saying it was a fantastic speech and it was a moment of pride for all Indians.

List of absentees

Since it was an all CM line-up, some BJP CMs were conspicuous by the absence of any statements from them. These included Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan and Laxmikant Parsekar in Goa.

Top Union ministers too abstained, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

Party chief Amit Shah also did not tweet any such complements.

The usual suspect

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu is well known for calling Modi 'God's gift for India' and 'messiah of the poor'. He has also turned the PM into an acronym - "Modifier Of Developing India". He did not let this opportunity pass and sent out at least half a dozen tweets.

Finally, talking of absentees, there was one whose decision not to send out a single tweet on Modi's address is likely to upset the latter - the PM's 'friend' and President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

First published: 9 June 2016, 15:59 IST
 
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.

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