As the date for the first phase of crucial Bihar elections draws nearer, political parties have resorted to heated exchange of verbal duel.
Leading the fray on Thursday was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in his inimitable style, called his political rival and the leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav ‘shaitan (devil).’
Addressing a rally in Bihar’s Munger, Modi said, ” Shaitan ko in ke (Lalu ke) ghar ka pata kaise chala (How did devil find his (Lalu’s) address?”
If that was not enough, the prime minister also attacked the Bihar chief minister by accusing him of insulting the ‘yadav’ caste for the latter’s remarks on beef. Yadav had reportedly said that he knew many Hindus who ate beef.
Modi said, ” What all did he eat? It (the remarks) insulted the Yaduvanshis… Laluji these Yaduvanshis helped you to come to power. What all Yadavs eat…is it not an insult of Yadavs and Bihar?”
Sushil Modi, a senior BJP leader in Bihar, attacked Yadav by questioning his sons’ education.
He told reporters, ” Lalu Yadav had come to Patna with just one lota. But his son now owns an expensive motorbike worth Rs 20 lakh. The family also owns BMW cars. How many people can afford such expensive cars in the state? I wish Lalu had focussed on his sons’ education. His one son is just class IX pass while the other one has failed in intermediate.”
Both Modis’ personal jibes against their political rivals contradict the prime minister’s statement of fighting the election on development issue.
In the same rally in Munger, where Modi called Yadav ‘shaitan’, he also asked the voters to choose between ‘jungle raj’ and ‘vikas (development) raj.’
Reacting to personal attacks of both Modis, JDU chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar tweeted, “Modi first questioned our DNA, then call Bihar a sick state and now calling alliance and Laluji ‘devil’. This shows his frustration and level of thinking.”
Congress’ Shakeel Ahmed said, “Narendra Modi only believes in packaging and repackaging. He doesn’t know anything else. Bihar’s voters are intelligent and will give him fitting reply in these elections.”