Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Bihar Education Minister Ashok Choudhary were on Tuesday locked in a bitter war of words on Twitter after the Congress leader addressed her as “dear”.
Issues of etiquette in official communication also cropped up during the barrage of tweets unleashed against each other.
Choudhary in a tweet on Tuesday referred to the Human Resource Development minister as “dear” Smriti Irani ji and said that rather than focus on politics and speeches, she should pay attention to the New Education Policy.
Irani, who is currently touring Bihar, shot back asking Choudhary that since when did he begin addressing women as “dear”. “Mahilaon ko ‘dear’ keh ke kab se sambodhit karne lage Ashokji?”
Choudhary, who is also the state president of Congress, responded that it was “Not to disrespect but educate... Professional emails start with “dear”.” In his tweet, he asked Irani to answer the real issue and not “circle around it.”
“@AshokChoudhaary all my communications to you or any other person start with ‘adarniya’, but since you are now communicating allow me 1/3,” Irani said in another tweet.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader further told the Bihar minister that his state’s views on education policy had not been provided and “neither did you in your one-on-one meeting with me give any suggestions”.
She claimed that Bihar is possibly the only state which has not done grassroot consultations for the education policy.
Yadav, however, launched a counter-attack, tweeting, “@smritiirani ji has learnt a lot from Modiji... Fake promises and shifting blames to others for non-delivery is lesson one in Sangh’s book.”
Choudhary also wanted the minutes of his meeting with Irani be made public so that “Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani ho jayega (the truth comes out in the open).”
Irani again fired another tweet, saying “Sir I hope you do find time in your busy schedule to contribute to the education policy. Await state feedback.”
The Bihar minister then responded with a jibe, tweeting “Thanks for the high honour, glad to know delivery and non-delivery of NEP is on me. Hope Modiji shares the credit with me too.”
The battle of the ministers did not stop there with Irani asking the Bihar minister to “Fill 2 lakh teacher vacancies, land for KVs, CU Motihari.”
Choudhary responded, saying “I know how to deliver on my promises. Request you to deliver on what you have promised”.
The war of words erupted on a day when Irani was on a visit to Bhagalpur in connection with “Vikash Parv” observed by BJP-led National Democratic Alliance on completion of two years in the office at the Centre.
As Irani insisted that Bihar government give its views on the policy, Choudhary claimed having posted a link of the consultations.
“Seems @smritiirani ji isn’t aware her ministry’s website mentions consultation with eastern zone including Bihar,” he posted.
Irani responded, “@AshokChoudhaary we invited sir neither minister nor secretary education turned up. Entire proceedings were videographed. Please.”
Choudhary, however, maintained that he had shared the HRD ministry’s link of the consultations.
Irani too continued to hit out saying “@AshokChoudhaary would you rather sir that I don’t consult Bihar, if that is your stand then I shall comply though with a sense of regret.”
The Twitter war continued with supporters from both sides retweeting the comments of both leaders and also making their own remarks.
Last month, Irani was involved in a bitter fight with another Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi
In a post on twitter, Chaturvedi appeared to be taking another potshot.
“Oh dear UP ki BJP ki CM umeedwari se naam disappear. How to stay in the news? Simple! Let’s blow my fuse!” Chaturvedi posted.