- PM Modi paid rich tribute to journalist Cho Ramaswamy who died Wednesday
- PM shares video of Mr Ramaswamy jokingly calling him 'Merchant of Death'
- Cho was a fearless voice who was respected and admired, says PM Modi
In a series of tweets, PM Modi described Mr Ramaswamy as a "multidimensional personality, towering intellectual, great nationalist & fearless voice" that was respected and admired.
"The feisty Cho Ramaswamy introduces me as the Merchant of Death," tweeted the Prime Minister, sharing the video from an event dating back to when he was elected Chief Minister of Gujarat for the third time. He also posted a video of his own response.
"I now invite... the merchant of death," Mr Ramaswamy said in his introduction, drawing laughter from PM Modi and the audience.
Mr Modi returned the compliment and said he had been a "fan" of Mr Ramaswamy since the Emergency of 1975-77, when several opposition leaders were jailed by the Congress government of Indira Gandhi.
The feisty Cho Ramaswamy introduces me as the 'Merchant of Death.' Do watch this memorable interaction. https://t.co/2FsF64sVvHNarendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 7, 2016
"I always feel Mr Cho is a true democrat...My friends in Tamil Nadu used to say he is a Rajguru," he said.
"When one gets elected Chief Minister for third time, one will think everything is OK...what do I have to do...let the government do its work...I'll enjoy my period. After hearing Mr Cho, I think for five years again, I can't allow myself to take rest," he commented.
The phrase "Merchant of Death" was used by Congress president Sonia Gandhi during her party's campaign for the 2007 Gujarat election, to target Mr Modi over the 2002 riots in the state.
I returned the favour, but don't think I matched Cho's eloquence. Hear what I said about him. https://t.co/wPxYLc1fTbNarendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 7, 2016