Taking inspiration from a global playbook, where fashion has long been used as a political statement, the Trinamool Congress has designed a t-shirt for party workers to display and attack its opponent – the BJP leader and Interior Minister Amit Shah.
The t-shirt bearing a caricature of Mr. Shah’s face with the caption “India’s Biggest Pappu” is available in white, black and yellow.
The BJP had coined Congressman Rahul Gandhi with the epithet “Pappu”, which Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress now uses to mock Mr Shah.
The Trinamool Congress is eager to make the most of this t-shirt campaign during the Durga Puja in October, the first week, when a large number of people visit the West Bengal pandals.
“Mockery is the most powerful form of communication. It started from our National Secretary General Abhishek Banerjee’s comment and it became a trend on social media. Then it came to T-shirts,” Trinamool Congressman Derek O’Brien told PTI. .
Speaking to reporters on September 2 after being questioned for more than seven hours by the Law Enforcement Branch in connection with a charcoal smuggling case, Abhishek Banerjee described Mr. Shah as ” largest Pappu of India”.
On the same day, Mr Banerjee’s cousins, Akash Banerjee and Aditi Gayen, posted photos on social media wearing T-shirts with a caricature of Mr Shah and the slogan “Pappu”.
Trinamool Congress sources said Mr Banerjee was guiding young party workers on new clothing designs which are being sold at a ‘nominal price’ of Rs 300 each.
“Initially, the T-shirts were available online. Now you can get them at wholesale markets,” O’Brien said.
You can’t give someone a title just because you feel like it. The person must really deserve it!
Hear the many reasons why this gentleman really WON the title #IndiasBiggestPappuAmitShah
VIDEO 👇 pic.twitter.com/vGHsyAjR5Z
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) September 5, 2022
Three to four designs are available and more are hitting the market ahead of Durga Puja, said the MP who himself tweeted photos and a video wearing such a white t-shirt near the parliament building.
“Students and young partygoers who are as young as 25 create these t-shirts. They don’t want to be named. But the designs, I would say, are stunning,” O’Brien said.
He also wore the t-shirt on a flight from Kolkata to Delhi.
Several Trinamool Congress supporters tweeted photos wearing the T-shirt mocking Mr Shah.
“Congress should love this campaign. The BJP used that term to mock its leader. Now the BJP is getting its own drugs back,” O’Brien said.
BJP leader Rahul Sinha said the “personal attack” would be a flop.
“The TMC (Trinamool Congress) has no problem fighting the BJP. That’s why they are targeting people personally. It shows that the party is heading towards the end,” Sinha said.