What’s in a name? A lot of, if you are named Modi

The common saying is what's in a name? But it does matter a lot and can cause quite some confusion if the name is a popular one like Modi.

Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole landed himself in trouble when a video of his went viral in which he was badmouthing Modi and threatened to beat him up. In a video which was shared by leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Patole is seen talking to villagers in Bhandara district and can be heard saying, “I can beat Modi, I can badmouth him. Which is why he came to campaign against me.”

After this statement of physical assault and abuse against the Prime Minister went viral, it caused ripples in the local political circles with top BJP leaders demanding apology for the crude remarks and local cadre up in arms rushing to the local police station to register FIRs. The BJP accused Congress of politics of terror and curbing democracy.

Senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar demanded an unconditional apology from Patole. He said, “Patole’s statement against Modi shows insensitivity and irresponsibility, Patole should publicly apologise for his statement. He should admit that his statement against the PM was wrong and withdraw it immediately.”

MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule reached Koradi police station while city MLA Krishna Khopde was at Lakadganj police station to register FIRs. Bawankule said, “It’s absolutely shocking that a senior leader like Patole can use objectionable language against our PM.” Khopde, who reached Lakadganj police station with former mayor Pravin Datke, said, “The cops do not seem to be interested in taking action against Patole. If anyone says anything against MVA, then cops come from everywhere.”

However, Nana Patole later clarified that he was not referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but a local village goon about whom villagers had complained to him in his constituency. “I spoke about a local goon whose name is also ‘Modi’… I am well aware of the dignity of the post of the prime minister and I have not said anything against PM Narendra Modi,” clarified Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole

The next day Umesh Premdas Gharde, the local goon who has a pseudonym of Modi emerged from the shadows and confirmed that it was him who was being referred to. Speaking to the media, he said that had an altercation with a Congressman in Bhandara over drinking liquor and he had abused the latter, five to six people in his native village Gondi and “Nanabhau” (Patole) in an inebriated condition.

His story was confirmed by a lawyer who accompanied him to the press club for the media briefing, the lawyer produced a copy of FIR registered in 2020 in Palandhpur police station, Bhandara in which the complainant’s name was given as Umesh alias Modi Premdas Gharde.

The Congress and the MVA alliance defended Patole and asked for the controversy to be ended after this clarification. Interestingly Patole was a BJP MP before switching sides to the Congress in 2018.

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