Since yesterday everyone in this country is wondering whether one can get full meals for Rs. 12 in Mumbai. If you think I’m joking then possibly you are not aware of the recent controversy, courtesy Congress politician Raj Babbar. He thinks that we can get full meals for Rs. 12 in Mumbai.


The roots of the controversy erupted with the mechanics of the government calculating poverty data in the country. Recently the Planning Commission estimated that the number of poor in the country has gone down from nearly 37% of the population in 2004-05-the year the ruling UPA came to power – to 21.9% in 2011-12. In other words, an additional 137 million people in India now earn more than the threshold Rs. 27.2 a day in rural areas and Rs. 33.3 in cities.

But what followed later was further shameful and shocking. Congress leader Raj Babbar, while talking to reporters on Wednesday, added some more controversy when he stated:

“People should have full meals two times a day. How one can have it is a very good question that you have asked. Even today in Mumbai city, I can have a full meal at Rs. 12. No, no, not bada paav. So much of rice, daal saambhar and with that some vegetables are also mixed.”

If this was not enough another Congress leader, Rasheed Masood added more fuel with his statement:

“You can eat a meal in Delhi in Rs. 5, I don’t know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs. 5 near Jama Masjid.”

These two statements gave enough fodder for the media and the opposition to once again rip apart their reputation offline and like always the offline remarks made it to Twitter.

The Twitter backlash on the remarks

Keywords like Raj Babbar, Rs 12 and hashtag #ThingsYouCanGetInRs12 have been trending on Twitter throughout yesterday and even today. While I write this post, Raj Babbar and Rs 12 are constantly trending on the India top trends on Twitter.

Like always the tweets were about the news and then later the Twitter comedians and every one joined in the party to rip off the left over image. Some of the tweets listed below will give you a feel of the disgust over our politicians’ remarks.

“Even today in Mumbai city, I can have a full meal at Rs 12.” – Raj Babbar. Oh. Parliament Canteen has a branch in Mumbai also?

— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) July 25, 2013

Places where you can get a meal for Rs. 12, Rs. 5, Rs. 2 and Re 1 ..

— shilpi tewari (@shilpitewari) July 25, 2013

If Raj Babbar can find a meal for Rs 12, if Rasheed Masood can find at Rs.5, why Congress wasted Rs. 7721 per plate?

— Kiran Kumar S (@KiranKS) July 25, 2013

#ThingsYouCanGetInRs12 Two entry tickets to Modi’s speech in Hyderabad and 2 Airtel Videos. #BestValueForMoney

— Gaurav (@BwoyBlunder) July 25, 2013

The problem with the UPA is it has lost touch with on the ground reality. First, Montek. Now Raj Babbar. Farooq takes the cake!

— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) July 26, 2013

The UPA government backed by the Congress is digging its own grave by such comments, at a time when the elections are inching close. The Congress party has kept itself at a distance by saying that the tweets were a personal observation by the politicians. Raj Babbar has said today that his remarks were not meant to harm anyone’s feelings.

But when you are a public figure and associated with the ruling party then the applied tricks don’t help. A similar incident was noticed recently when Shakeel Ahmed had tweeted that the Godhra riots led to the formation of Indian Mujahideen. Though the tweet was based on NIA charge sheet but the damage was already done.

In this case the damage has already been done too, and it once again highlights the insensitivity of our elected politicians.

Image courtesy: Twitter