New Delhi: The political slugfest over Rahul Gandhi's 'panauti' barb at Prime Minister Narendra Modi escalated into a poster war on social media on Friday with the Congress referring to the PM as 'Panauti-e-Azam' and the BJP hitting back, calling the Gandhi family the 'real panauti' of the country.
A Hindi slang, 'panauti' loosely refers to someone who brings bad luck.
The poster battle comes a day after the Election Commission (EC) issued a show-cause notice to Rahul Gandhi for his 'panauti', 'pickpocket' and 'loan waiver for the super rich' jibes at Prime Minister Modi, and asked him to respond by Saturday.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had approached the poll panel against the former Congress president, saying it was 'unbecoming' of a 'very senior leader' to use such language.
The Congress put out a poster on X in which Modi is shown behind a curtain with the words 'PANAUTI-E-AZAM' written on it.
Hitting back at the Congress, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla put out another poster which had the names of 'Priyanka, Rahul, Sonia, Rajiv, Nehru, Robert and Indira' written and the term 'PANAUTI' highlighted using the letters of the names of the Gandhi family members mentioned in the poster.
"Ye hain Bharat ke liye asli Panauti (these are the real Panautis for Bharat),' the poster headline says.
In a post on X tagging the poster, the BJP leader said, 'Bharat ki asli PANAUTI -- P-Parivarvaad (dynastic politics), A- Aatankwaad (terrorism), N- Nepotism, A- Absolute corruption, U- Underperforming economy, T- Tushtikaran (appeasement), I - Ignoring National int for votebank.' 'PM means Panauti Modi,' Rahul Gandhi had said on Tuesday while referring to India's loss to Australia in the Cricket World Cup final in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Prime Minister Modi was in the stands during the World Cup final.
Lashing out at Gandhi for his remarks, the BJP demanded an apology from him for his 'shameful and disgraceful' utterances.