On Tuesday evening, in a move aimed at curbing the menace of black money and corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the scrapping of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes.
Paytm, India's largest mobile payments company and e-commerce platform, quickly took to social media and tweeted this:
We have got two words for you: Paytm Karo.— Paytm (@Paytm) November 8, 2016
Paytm also put out an ad in the newspapers on Wednesday and Thursday that prominently featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph.
How PayTM knows about this decision in advance? Newspaper ads are booked in advance as per my understanding! pic.twitter.com/mPS7k5xnF2— Kapil💥 (@kapsology) November 9, 2016
This didn't go too well with Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener, Arvind Kejriwal, who tweeted: "Paytm biggest beneficiary of PM's announcement. Next day PM appears in its ads. Whats the deal, Mr PM?"
Paytm biggest beneficiary of PM's announcement. Next day PM appears in its ads. Whats the deal, Mr PM? https://t.co/lfP0PrQICQ— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 10, 2016
Kejriwal termed it "utterly shameful" that the Prime Minister's photo was being used by the private online payment firm, Paytm.
He tweeted, "Utterly shameful. Do people want their PM to model for private companies? Tomorrow, if these companies do wrongdoings, who will act against them?"
Utterly shameful. Do people want their PM to model for pvt cos? Tomo, if these cos do wrongdoings, who will act against them? https://t.co/hAxg4H4MuL— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 10, 2016
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar took notice of the CM's tweet and gave a fitting response.
He explained that it was not his company but all of India that was a beneficiary and how Paytm was just trying to do its bit.
He tweeted, "Dear Sir, The biggest beneficiary is our country. We are just a tech startup, trying to solve financial inclusion & make India proud."
And, of course, there was this by senior journalist Ashok Malik:
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