It all started in droll fashion on Thursday morning, when Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy posted a tweet with the latest edition of Mint Metric, the feature in limerick he writes for the Mint financial newspaper.

His newest ruminations related to possible changes in the H-1B work visa rules in the United States, which would hurt Indian workers who are waiting for so-called green cards that give them permanent resident status.

Debroy wrote:

It didn’t take long for Sadanand Dhume, an American commentator who specialises on South Asian affairs, to come back with a response, also framed in rhyme.

Debroy chairs the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, which was formed in September to suggest measures to boost the economy. The council had listed creation of jobs as a priority in its first meeting.

Debroy told Dhume that he was making a wrong deduction because the data was inaccurate.

Dhume replied that despite this, it was still hard to make the case that jobs had grown.

The exchange continued, with Debroy seeming to take a jibe at Dhume – an enthusiastic supporter of the Narendra Modi regime until last year – for his volte-face.

As the exchange ended, other users jumped in too, to express their delight at this civilised war of words.