On Monday, BJP picked Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind for the post of India’s president, a move which came as a surprise to many. Naturally everyone had an opinion about the decision and social media was brimming with comments.
However, amongst the volley of reactions, there was one tweet which certainly didn’t go down well with the BJP. On Monday, journalist Rana Ayub took a dig at BJP’s presidential choice and tweeted this:
And you thought Pratibha Patil was the worst bet https://t.co/1jdGDtJmxF— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 19, 2017
Miffed with the comment, Bharatiya Janata Party Spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Monday night registered a police complaint against Ayyub for what she called a “defamatory, hate-filled and derogatory” tweet about Ram Nath Kovind.
Sharma in her complaint, said that Ayyub’s tweet reflected an “extremely casteist, hateful and disrespectful mindset she harbours against members of the Scheduled castes”.
“To classify a sitting and incumbent Hon’ble Governer of Bihar and now NDA nominee for post of President of India, namely Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji, as “Worst Best” for the post of Hon’ble President of India is not only directly undermining the abilities and position in society of a member of the Scheduled Castes but is also blatantly and scurrilously slanderous and casteist”, the complaint further reads.
Soon after the complaint, Ayyub responded with a series of cheeky tweets
Dear Nupur, if you are done with ur publicity stunt, can i send a copy of Gujarat files where some serious stuff is said about ur leaders https://t.co/stGp2cAM7T— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 19, 2017
Dear BJP spokies, please promise to come up with a better one next time. You know I am so freaked out already— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 19, 2017
Can somebody please advice BJP spokies that if they need to intimidate, at least come up with better ones. I insist !— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 19, 2017
So should the sikh community be offended when PM Modi said that Manmohan Singh knew the art of bathing with a raincoat on.— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 19, 2017
This is how people and fellow journalists slammed BJP and Nupur Sharma for inflating the whole issue and pointing out how frivolous how the whole exercise is
So @NupurSharmaBJP got the cheap publicity that she so desperately wanted. These BJP types don’t understand caste, let alone atrocity.— Akshay Marathe (@AkshayMarathe) June 20, 2017
Dear @NupurSharmaBJP , as a hardcore supporter, I believe the FIR on the supposed journalist is ill served and over the top.— mukul (@MukulAgarwal66) June 20, 2017
BJP’s IT cell now on double shift to target anyone who questions Prez choice! No questions please, we are netas! Bye!!— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 20, 2017
You can only fight on caste. The same BJP was silent when Dalits were being lynched in Gujarat and killed in Saharanpur. So shut up— #SHAVRAJ (@mufeed) June 19, 2017
Poor BJP candidates,It looks like you guys don’t have work to do,Every step you take is to please your Maalik Modi. Get a life— pankaj (@kaun_snow) June 20, 2017
In a democracy, politicians settle legitimate differences of opinion through debate not by filing police complaints. @RanaAyyub— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) June 19, 2017
Haahahaa, u might not get paid from bjp for tbis coz the presidential candidate had spoken worst earlier about muslims and christians— محمد Samir (@samirnutty) June 20, 2017
Also, it wasn’t just Rana Ayyub who compared Kovind to Pratibha Patil and questioned BJP’s choice. So, will the BJP file a complaint against all of them?
UPA’ Pratibha Patil; NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind. Dalit leader, obvious politics. Will opposition now field Dalit as well?— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 19, 2017
Ramnath Kovind has decent cv.So did Pratibha Patil and we know what happened.Are these most inspiring choices for young India is all I ask.— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 20, 2017
Q- Who is Ram Nath Kovind?A- He’s the Pratibha Patil of the BJP 🙄— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) June 19, 2017
The rivalry between BJP and journalist Rana Ayyub is nothing new.
Upsetting BJP supporters, Rana has written a book on 2002 Gujarat riots, Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up which allegedly comprise transcripts of a sting operation she had conducted in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Ayyub is also known to mock and criticise BJP and the Modi government on social media platforms. In 2015, she came under fire for falsely naming the RSS chief in a nun rape case in 2015.