Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one politician, who has truly mastered the art of launching personal attacks against his rivals and then accusing them of lowering the standard of public discourse in the same breath.
Modi hit the campaign trail with an all-out attack at Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his ancestors including former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru a few days ago in Chattisgarh. Addressing Rahul Gandhi disparagingly, Modi told an election rally in Chhattisgarh if the water pumps in the state had been installed by Rahul Gandhi’s nana nani, dada dadi.
He was widely condemned for crossing the limits of decency since he also occupied the office of India’s prime minister and derogatory comments had not been made by second rung leaders of the BJP but the prime minister of India himself.
In contrast, Congress President kept his focus on the corruption allegations against Modi and poor governance under BJP rules in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. However, there were few Congress leaders at a relatively lower level, who took a swipe at Modi for his personal attack against the Nehru-Gandhi family.
One such leader was Raj Babbar, who mocked Modi for his inability to control the value of the Indian rupee against the US dollar by saying that it was about to touch the age of the prime minister’s mother. Reacting to Modi’s attack on Rahul Gandhi’s lineage, another Congress leader Vilasrao Muttemwar asked who the prime minister’s father was and how many people knew him before he occupied the top post in Indian politics.
Being true to himself, Modi pounced on these two developments and decided to use them in his public speeches with an eye to gain the emotional advantage in an election, where he and his party have struggled to showcase anything noteworthy in the name of governance.
In one election rally on Sunday, Modi asked (see below), “My father left this world 30 years ago. Nobody in my family has any political connections. And yet Congress president doesn’t miss any opportunity to cast aspersion on my family.” Modi was factually wrong here since the comments about his father and mother were not made by Rahul Gandhi.
मेरे पिताजी 30 साल पहले दुनिया छोड़कर चले गए।
मेरे परिवार में किसी का राजनीति से कोई संबंध नहीं है।
फिर भी कांग्रेस के नामदार मेरे परिवार के बारे में अभद्र टिप्पणी करने से नहीं रुकते। pic.twitter.com/hkTK3WQO06
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 25, 2018
He did not stop here. He also did not forget to invoke his mother as he told his gathering, “I am not surprised that Congress leaders are abusing my mother and questioning my caste. Those casting aspersion may be small time leaders, but they are doing so at the behest of naamdar (a slur used by Modi for Rahul Gandhi). They attacked my caste even during the Gujarat assembly polls last year.”
No sooner did Modi’s comments become public, social media users asked him why the prime minister was in complaining mode all the time with some even comparing him with the Bollywood’s tragedy queen Nirupa Roy. Others asked why Modi and his party always ignored the issue of governance and only focused on personal attack by first lowering the the standard of public discourse.
This man is a shameless liar. His entire political career consists of lies, personal abuse, indecent comments and violence. And here he is playing Nirupa Roy https://t.co/8kO5qB00G5
— Joy (@Joydas) November 25, 2018
Nirupa Roy ..???? .. that’s precious !
— puja (@DConquered) November 25, 2018
Then why Modi use his mother for #Demonetisation marketing.. Make her stand in the Que.. Wah Modi wah..
Poor mother of Modi has to stand in Que for her food ?..
I feel pity for entire Modi’s bhaqt clan.. This sentiment of Nirupa Roy won’t work. ? ?
Enough crocodile ?tears?
— Eagle ? Eyes ? (@lets_say_truth) November 25, 2018
#PMNirupaRoy tomorrow in rally “Congress called me Nirupa Roy”
— Indian (@Indiandilse1717) November 25, 2018
The results of assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram will heavily influence the outcome of the next year’s parliamentary polls. The counting for the assembly polls in five states will commence on 11 December.