The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) engaged in an exchange of jibes on Twitter over former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s imprisonment in connection to a graft case.

In a tweet posted a day after Pakistani politician Imran Khan’s comment taunting the “friendship” between Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress said, “Nawaz Sharif has been arrested on corruption charges. We’d like to know what his dear friend, PM Modi has to say about this.”

The tweet posted by the grand old party was accompanied by a picture of PM Modi walking hand in hand with Sharif during the former’s surprise visit to Pakistan on 25 December 2015.

 

Not the one to back down, the BJP posted a sharp riposte, “Not just the PM, everyone in the country is saying: Those leaders in India roaming around on bail will have to go to prison, too.”

 

The BJP was referring to PM Modi’s recent remark on Congress at a rally in Rajasthan in which he called the party “bail-gaadi” referring to the leaders out on bail. His dig appeared to be aimed at Shashi Tharoor, Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

“Several leaders who are called stalwarts of the Congress and former ministers are out on bail these days,” PM Modi said at a public rally in Jaipur on 7 July.

Both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are out on bail in the National Herald case since 2015. The PM had in May 2018 hit out at the Gandhi family using the bail bard at a gathering in Hubli during the campaigning rounds of the Karnataka assembly election.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh, too, chipped in with a jibe of his own. “Few are out on bail ..they will soon follow Nawaz’s fate. #OutonBail,” he wrote on Twitter.

 

On Friday, Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested by anti-corruption officials late after they arrived in Lahore from Abu Dhabi. The two were taken to Islamabad in a private plane and their passports seized by a three-member Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team.

Nawaz and Maryam were convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield corruption reference last Friday and handed jail sentences of 10 years and seven years, respectively. The former was found guilty of owning assets beyond known sources of income, while his daughter was convicted for aiding and abetting her father in covering up the “conspiracy”.

On Friday, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan had in a tweet said: “Beginning to wonder why whenever Nawaz Sharif is in trouble, there is increasing tension along Pakistan’s borders and a rise in terrorist acts? Is it a mere coincidence?”

 

According to reports, Khan’s tweet was based on a slogan frequently raised by the workers of his party, PTI, at its public meetings: “Modi Ka Jo Yaar Hai, Ghaddar Hai, Ghaddar Hai (friend of Modi is a traitor)”.