Bengaluru, Oct 19, 2021: The Congress in Karnataka has deleted a tweet labelling Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an "angootha-chhaap" or illiterate, also expressing regret for what it called an "uncivil tweet" posted by a "novice social media manager".
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, withdrawing the controversial post, admitted last night that it fell short of the standards of "civil and parliamentary language" in political discourse.
"I have always believed that civil and parliamentary language is a non-negotiable pre-requisite for political discourse. An uncivil tweet made by a novice social media manager through the Karnataka Congress official Twitter handle is regretted and stands withdrawn," Mr Shivakumar tweeted.
The Karnataka Congress had directed a personal attack at PM Modi in the now-deleted tweet.
"Congress built schools but Modi never went to study. Congress even set up schemes for adults to learn, Modi didn’t learn there too. People who chose to beg for a living despite beggary being prohibited are today pushing citizens to beggary. Country is suffering because of "#angoothachhaap modi," the party’s handle had tweeted in Kannada, hoping the hashtag would go viral.
"Angootha-chhaap" is used derogatorily for a person can’t read or write and uses a thumb print for a signature.
No senior BJP leader has reacted to the slur. A Karnataka spokesperson of the party, Malavika Avinash, told NDTV "only the Congress could stoop so low" and added that the comment did not even merit a response.
The tweet added to the pile of acrimonious posts between the BJP and the Congress in the run-up to by-polls for two assembly constituencies on October 30.
For the ruling BJP, it is important to win its first electoral test after it replaced BS Yediyurappa as Chief Minister and installed Basavaraj Bommai in July.
The opposition Congress, aiming to win both seats - one belonged to the Janata Dal Secular and the other, BJP - has been campaigning aggressively but has lately made some glaring missteps.
Recently, two of its leaders were caught on a hot mic gossiping about their boss Mr Shivakumar, even alleging bribe-taking.
The party’s Siddaramaiah has also been fighting on Twitter with Mr Bommai; the two leaders have been swapping insults since last week.