PUNE: Politics makes strange bedfellows, but Sunday proved that this cliche also applies to the majority of Twitter users who love to express their political views on social media.
Who knew that a day will come when BJP’s bhakts, as the ruling party’s supporters are often referred to on Twitter, will sing praises of Ajit Pawar, while his own party will come out all guns blazing against him?
On a day when Twitter provided most of the fodder for the media, Ajit Pawar and his uncle Sharad Pawar hogged the hashtag trends in the online space as well. A steady flow of memes continued unabated.
Estranged NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who was sworn in as the deputy CM on Saturday morning, broke his silence on Twitter on Sunday by replying to all the good wishes from PM Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and other Union Cabinet ministers.
Pawar thanked all the bigwigs for their good wishes for his new innings with the BJP government in Maharashtra. His Twitter bio clearly stated that he was the ‘Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra. Nationalist Congress Party Leader’.
The interesting part in the trolling that followed was that while NCP supporters came out strongly to either criticise Pawar’s move, or to urge him to come back to NCP so that a split in the party can be avoided, BJP supporters on Twitter, who earlier left no opportunity to malign Ajit Pawar’s and NCP’s image, lauded his move and went to the extent of defending him from other trollers.
The tone of NCP supporters ranged from polite request and strong-worded criticism.
Hashtags #MaharashtraCrisis and #MahaPoliticalTwist trended throughout the day.
Ajit also fuelled another twitter war with this tweet - ‘I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and @PawarSpeaks Saheb is our leader. Our BJP-NCP alliance shall provide a stable Government in Maharashtra for the next five years which will work sincerely for the welfare of the State and its people.’
The tweet invited a sharp reply from Sharad Pawar himself who tweeted that ‘there was no question of forming an alliance with BJP’.
- Ajit Pawar’s supporters wanted him to mend fences with Sharad Pawar to avoid the NCP from getting split. Some supporters of Sharad Pawar (and possibly Shiv Sena and Congress) labelled his move as a betrayal.
- BJP supporters instantly jumped to his rescue and told NCP supporters to remember how Sharad Pawar had himself staged a similar coup in 1978 when he replaced Congress CM Vasantdada Patil.