Try Roaming Packs: Union Minister's Advice After Rahul Gandhi's PM Jab
New Delhi: Union Minister Babul Supriyo took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi this morning over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that he was "thinking of giving up" his social media accounts - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Mr Supriyo offered the former Congress chief advice on "international roaming packs" when "tweeting from your holidays abroad" - a reference to Mr Gandhi's foreign trips - both in his personal and official capacity, a line of attack frequently employed by the BJP.
"... when you tweet from your holidays abroad, your network provider charges at least 4 times more for data usage," Babul Supriyo tweeted to Rahul Gandhi.
"10 day/15 day international roaming packs are available... try availing that in your next trip. For your short stays in India, you may use normal data packs," he said.
In a surprise tweet posted last night Prime Minister Modi - one of the most followed heads of state in the world - suggested he would "give up" his social media accounts on Sunday, March 8. Mr Gandhi replied, urging PM Modi to "give up hatred, not social media accounts"
Rahul Gandhi had responded to the tweet, as had other Congress leaders like Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor and party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
The Prime Minister, who is active on social media, has been criticised for avoiding difficult topics online, such as the recent violence in Delhi (his first response came after three days) and the spate of mob killings during his first term.
He has also attracted criticism for following accounts of supporters accused of vicious online trolling, abusing journalists and even celebrating the murder of one.
Some have speculated that PM Modi's announcement may have something to do with Women's Day, which will be observed on Sunday.
Jabs over foreign trips have become routine in recent years, with the Congress and the BJP each accusing the other of wasting money and time on these.
In October last year the BJP demanded Rahul Gandhi inform parliament of details of his foreign travel, raising questions over what it said were his "luxurious trips abroad".
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao demanded Mr Gandhi submit details of his trips and payments, alleging the Lok Sabha MP had made 16 foreign visits in the previous five years.
At the time Mr Gandhi was on a "meditational trip" to an undisclosed foreign location. His trip came just days before the Congress's planned protests against the ruling BJP over the economic slowdown.
The BJP's attack came a month after the Congress, on the occasion of World Tourism Day, criticised the Prime Minister over his numerous visits to other countries.
The Congress also took aim before Lok Sabha polls in April and May, with Mr Gandhi questioning the Prime Minister's travel during a crisis in the farm sector.
According to the Prime Minister's website, PM Modi has made 59 foreign trips since coming to power in May 2014; his most recent was in November year when he visited Brazil for the 11th BRICS summit.
According to news agency PTI, between May 2014 (when PM Modi first came to power) and December 2018, the Prime Minister spent over Rs 2,000 crore on his travel.
(Inputs from ndtv.com)