manish Tewari twitter
manish Tewari twitterIANS

Manish Tewari, former minister of Information and Broadcasting, on Sunday became the butt of a viral joke on Twitter when he started engaging in foreign policy discussion issues with a parody account of senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.

The parody account operated under the handle @ManiAyeSir baited Tewari when the latter took to Twitter to articulate former Afghan President Hamid Karzai's call for a bolder military posture in Afghanistan and India's role in it. The response by @ManiAyeSir simply read, "Manish, we should not send troops anywhere."

The parody account describes itself as "Parody Account of a Tea Connoisseur and self-declared intellectual giant. Slightly pompous. Love Macaulay. Legend (in my own mind)."

Congress spokesperson Tewari did not read the description and continued to respond to the parody account. Tewari asked if sending troops to Sri Lanka in 1987 was an avoidable commitment and if it could have been handled differently. In the following tweet, Manish said: "If hard power make nations great power US in ME [Middle-East], Russia in Ukraine, China in South China Sea then India would never be a great power."

This was responded to with a simple one-liner by @ManiAyeSir saying, "have to discuss this with you over some Single malt".

Manish Tewari, still not realising that he was talking to a parody account, replied: "Done sir. Whenever convenient."

Later in the day after Mani Shankar Aiyar clarified to the press that he does not operate a Twitter account, Tewari, realizing his folly, made another tweet to brush off the incident. "Whosoever you are real ,fake parody or spoof u still owe me a Single Malt. Cheers & enjoy" he said." In response, @ManiAyeSir retweeted the comment and said, "Done".

You can see the entire exchange along with twitter reactions in the screenshots below.