Rumours around Prime Minister Narendra Modi have abounded ever since he was chief minister of Gujarat.
However, a political rival on Tuesday may have trumped many such crazy rumours and claims when he said Modi consumes imported mushrooms, and that they have given him a fairer complexion over the years!
What's more, the political rival also claimed that the daily cost of the mushrooms Modi consumes can go up to Rs 4 lakh!
Twitter, per usual, seemed to go on a trip over the claims. They might just have deemed this chance at poking fun too lucrative to pass.
Alpesh Thakor speaks
The claims were made by Alpesh Thakor, the president of the OBC SC ST (OSS) Ekta Manch and the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena. He is also a part of the Congress.
Thakor, along with Hardik Patel and a few other politicians, claims to spearhead the backward class population in Gujarat.
It was he who claimed on Tuesday, December 12, that Modi consumes imported mushrooms that cost Rs 80,000 apiece. He added that the prime minister eats five of these a day, meaning the daily cost of Modi's mushroom habit is Rs 4 lakh!
Thakor — who has a dusky complexion — also claimed Modi's skin was as dark as his but the PM has become fairer because he has been consuming these mushrooms since he was Gujarat chief minister!
Watch the video of Thakor's speech here:
Can the claims be true?
The US National Library of Medicine under the country's National Institutes of Health has information on a certain kind of fungi — yes, mushrooms are actually fungi — that fit the description of what Thakor claimed Modi eats. It is called the cordyceps sinensis.
The library says it has been "described as a medicine in old Chinese medical books and Tibetan medicine." It also says this is "a rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus and found at altitudes above 4,500 metres in Sikkim."
But does Modi actually consume it? According to a Daily Bhaskar report from September 2016, Modi had apparently told reporters in an unofficial conversation even before he had become the chief minister of Gujarat: "The secret of my good health is mushrooms of Himachal Pradesh. They have various health benefits."
However, that report had also said the mushroom Modi consumes is actually the morchella esculenta — a highly-sought-after edible variety of the fungus.
Twitter has a field day
If there is an opportunity to troll, can Twitterati be far behind?
Here are some of the more hilarious reactions: