When Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his high voltage Lok Sabha election campaign in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, he took the “SARAB” (liquor) swipe at the Opposition alliance in UP.
Coining the acronym by taking the first letters from the names of each of the alliance partners — Samajwadi Party (Sa), Rashtriya Lok Dal (Ra) and Bahujan Samaj Party (B) — he asked people to avoid this for their good health. Congress soon went ballistic, questioning whether using such a language behoves the prime minister.
Notwithstanding the controversy, the fact remains that in the very first leg of campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the political discourse has nosedived.
The discourse on social media is already bitter. While each side is describing it as an ideological battle, there is hardly any ideology but a lot of innuendo and acronyms.
By far, the election discourse has witnessed Ravan, Shurpanakha, Kayar (coward) Napunsak (impotent), Chamche (stooges) and, the latest entry, SARAB (liquor). Leaders have also barged into others’ private lives.
Responding to Modi’s frequent attacks on dynastic politics of the Congress, its leader Tariq Anwar in Bihar said, “Modiji does not have a successor in the family, which is why he is making such comments.” The BJP hit back, accusing Congress of “hurling disgusting personal abuses” at the prime minister.
Guns on arch-rival
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, training his guns on arch-rival and YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy, drew an analogy of ganja (cannabis) in a tulsi garden.
AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi asked the prime minister if he “ate beef biryani (bade ki biryani) and slept” when the Pulwama attack took place.
His brother, Akbaruddin Owaisi, offered the PM a “chowkidar’s cap and a whistle.” National Conference leader Javed Rana went to the extent of comparing Modi to a “murderer” and a “terrorist”.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called Congress candidate from Saharanpur, Imran Masood, the son-in-law of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar Masood.
Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma made the “Pappi” jibe over Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics. He said “Pappu” (Rahul Gandhi) had joined long back and now ‘Pappu ki Pappi’ (Priyanka) had also joined.
BJP MLA in UP Surendra Singh had called Rahul and Priyanka, “Ravana and Shurpanakha”. Later, he also called Sonia Gandhi a “dancer” when commenting on Haryana dancer Sapna Chaudhary “joining” the Congress.
“Rahul’s mother (Sonia) was also in the same profession in Italy and his father made her his own. He (Rahul) should also take the family tradition forward and make Sapna his own,” he said.
Singh was the one who had also “revealed” that Mayawati goes for “facials” and colours her hair even thought she is 60-years-old.
UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma stirred up a hornet’s nest with his tweet terming the Congress president a “coward and impotent”.