Amid Jibes, PM Congratulated By Philip Kotler For Award Named After Him

Amid Jibes, PM Congratulated By Philip Kotler For Award Named After Him

NEW DELHI: Amid political sparring and opposition taunts over Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving "the first ever Philip Kotler Presidential Award", the marketing guru put out a clarification on Twitter on Tuesday and also applauded the prime minister's "selfless service towards India".

"I congratulate PM @narendramodi for being conferred the first ever Philip Kotler Presidential Award. He has been selected for his outstanding leadership & selfless service towards India, combined with his tireless energy," tweeted Philip Kotler, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.

He said PM Modi's efforts in India had resulted in "extraordinary economic, social and technological advances" and his win "raises the bar for future recipients."

Mr Kotler's tweets were in response to a controversy over the award following Congress president Rahul Gandhi's sarcastic "congratulatory" message.

"I want to congratulate our PM, on winning the world famous "Kotler Presidential Award"! In fact it's so famous it has no jury, has never been given out before and is backed by an unheard of Aligarh company," Rahul Gandhi jeered in a post that was retweeted by many PM Modi critics, including RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Union minister Smriti Irani lashed back in a tweet, saying unlike PM Modi, members of the Gandhi family gave India's top honour to themselves.

Smriti Irani and several other union ministers and BJP leaders had congratulated PM Modi profusely for the award.

Left leader Sitaram Yechury, however, posted a link to an investigation by news website The Wire, in which questions were raised about the award jury and the organization. It quoted one Tauseef Zia Siddiqui, calling himself the representative of Philip Kotler, as saying: "It's a very confidential award". The article also pointed out that there was nothing from Mr Kotler on the award.

The interview had Mr Kotler saying that PM Modi "stood the highest" on key leadership criteria and asserting that "the final decision was mine". He clarified that he could not travel to India so asked Marketing Professor Jagdish Sheth, to do the honors.

Next, said Mr Kotler, would be the "Philip Kotler Business Leadership Award".