Amid the chaos and political uncertainty unleashed by the BJP's controversial return to power in Maharashtra, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, whose extensive vocabulary is often a source of amusement and erudition, has offered his take on the situation. The Lok Sabha member re-tweeted a post from July 2017 in which he used the word "snollygoster" (an American slang) to describe a "shrewd, unprincipled politician".
In the original tweet, sent on July 27, 2017, Mr Tharoor had written: "Word of the day! Definition of *snollygoster* ... US dialect: a shrewd, unprincipled politician ... First Known Use: 1845 ... Most recent use: 26/7/17".
On Saturday morning, after NCP leader Ajit Pawar sparked controversy by leading his party in support of the BJP in its bid to retain power in Maharashtra, Mr Tharoor re-tweeted his 2017 post, with a "correction".
"Correction: Most recent use: 23 November 2019, Mumbai," his tweet read.
Correction: Most recent use: 23 November 2019, Mumbai https://t.co/W6KKVro1Ra— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 23, 2019
The original tweet, many speculated at the time, was a swipe at Janata Dal United (JDU) chief Nitish Kumar who had broken away from an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress and returned to join hands with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The breaking of ties with the RJD-Congress came only four years after Nitish Kumar ended a nearly two-decade long association with the BJP.
The move, which generated significant headlines at the time, came shortly after RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav rejected demands for his son and deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav to resign over an alleged corruption scam.
Fast forward to 2019, and a dramatic overnight twist in Maharashtra saw BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis sworn in as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar, who is party chief Sharad Pawar's nephew, as Deputy Chief Minister.
The ceremony, which took place at around 8 am, came merely hours after President's Rule was revoked and less than a day after a tripartite meeting between the Sena, the Congress and the NCP seemed to all but confirm the three would form the government.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar held a press conference this afternoon, in which Mr Pawar categorically asserted that the BJP "won't be able prove a majority".
The Congress was similarly emphatic, with senior leader Ahmed Patel lashing out at the BJP for employing underhanded tactics to regain power in Maharashtra.