Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment on Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister of Punjab, as India's Nelson Mandela created online storm and prompted Amarinder Singh, Congress leader, to question the "sense of humour” of Modi.
Key Congress leader in Punjab, Mr Singh, said in a written statement, "Either it is a tongue in cheek comment by the Prime Minister and he really did not mean what he said, or he actually does not know what he is saying.”
The Prime Minister praised Mr Badal at a function that was organized to mark Jai Prakash Narayan’s 113th birth anniversary. The public personalities were felicitated by him for fighting the Emergency imposed by regime of Indira Gandhi.
Referring to the Gandhi family, Modi commented that: "There is a special family about whom pages are written in history even if their fingernails break. Very few people know that Badal Saheb is Nelson Mandela of India, who has spent nearly two decades in jail only because of political differences."
As soon on Modis comments, jokes sprouted in social media with the hashtag # #YoBadalSoMandela.
Mr Singh, who called it as an insult, said, "If Mr Modi seriously means Mr Badal to be the Nelson Mandela of India, then, I am sure, he might be thinking that like Mandela he (Mr Badal) deserves a Bharat Ratna and Nobel Peace Prize also and he should really lobby for him".
Partap Singh Bajwa, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President tweeted: “Dear PM please have some pity on the legendary Nelson Mandela. Don't compare him with Alibaba of Punjab. #YoBadalSoMandela”