Indian boxer Mary Kom, shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal and paddler Manika Batra were among the sports personalities who took to Twitter to voice support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharat Laxmi initiative, which aims at empowering the women of the country.
Sharing Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju's Twitter post, which also has a video lauding their achievements, the female sportspersons wrote the same message, "I thank @narendramodi sir for his initiative to honour and empower women this Diwali. Acknowledgement motivates us to work harder and make India proud. #bharatkilaxmi." The message was also shared by boxer Nikhat Zareen and wrestler Pooja Dhanda.
This Diwali, let's all celebrate womanhood. Societies grow when women are empowered and their accomplishments are given a place of pride! PM @narendramodi ji has appealed everyone to celebrate #BharatKiLaxmi for the extraordinary success of the women of India. pic.twitter.com/8iZsGLincf
" Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 25, 2019
Criticising the identical text of the posts by the sportspersons, Congress leader Khushbu Sundar questioned the "cut-copy-paste" job, while others alleged that they were asked to post the tweets by the PMO.
Wonder what makes these great sports women of India to cut-copy-paste this.. pressure from the top? I am sure devils of this quantity do not think alike 😜😜😜😜😜 pic.twitter.com/fgyJBv1FzE
" KhushbuSundar ¤ï¸ master of all trades, jack of non (@khushsundar) October 26, 2019
Good lord, where is the self-respect of these people? https://t.co/mpjFbJVXpV
" Amit Varma (@amitvarma) October 26, 2019
i think the IT cell must make it easier for celebs to cut and paste tweets https://t.co/En2c75yLvT
" Harini Calamur (@calamur) October 26, 2019
In September, Modi had called for a campaign to honour daughters who have made a mark with their achievements in various fields for public good. "Daughters are considered as Lakshmi in our culture. Can't we felicitate daughters in our villages and cities by holding public programmes?" Modi had suggested in his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address.