In what has turned out to be a major embarrassment for the BJP-led Jharkhand government, the state education minister Neera Yadav was spotted paying shraddhanjali - floral tributes to former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who is well, alive and kicking.
The Prabhat Khabar has carried a picture of the minister at the event in a school in the state's Hazaribagh district where Yadav was the chief guest. The photograph in the newspaper that says "Education Minister offers last rites to President Kalam" shows the minister garlanding the former President and paying floral tributes to him.
In the caption, the newspaper said, "She does not even know that Dr Kalam is still alive.”
The photograph has gone viral on social media, with many criticizing the minister for her 'lack of education'.
BJP's Education Minister in Jharkhand paid tributes to Ex President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, this is their education! pic.twitter.com/tyvgxTibUt— रचित सेठ (@rachitseth) July 22, 2015
Jharkhand's Education Minister thinks APJ Abdul Kalam is dead. Why do all the BJP's 'education ministers' appear to have skipped school?— lindsay pereira (@lindsaypereira) July 22, 2015
On Monday, Jharkhand's education minister Neera Yadav garlanded a pic of Dr. APJ Kalam. She was ironically inaugurating a smart class.— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) July 22, 2015
Jharkhand Education minister pays "homage" to APJ Abdul Kalam .Rip maturity n sensitivity. Dafuq!Tribute to this lady pic.twitter.com/KRmOAZiBXG— Arpit Jain (@Arpit_Jn) July 22, 2015
Jharkhand's Education Minister pays floral tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam.
Smriti Irani: Thank god, I'm not the dumbest Edu Minister anymore.— Akshay Kumar G (@AkshayShakira) July 22, 2015
We are not sure why the minister decided to garland the photograph, and why there was no objection to it, but Yadav had her defence.
When asked about the incident, she said that in schools, photos of great leaders are garlanded to honour them. "Kalam is a great scientist and there is nothing objectionable in garlanding his picture," she added.