Campaigning for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will go down in the pages of electoral history for the offensive acronyms being used freely to attack political opponents.
The long haul electioneering took off on a healthy note with leaders of major parties raising issues like development, corruption, note ban and law and order.
But, the serious poll plank soon gave way to personal jibes almost to the extent of calling names, giving new definitions and abbreviations to tar the image of opponents.
In this quest for scoring a brownie point in the eyes of the electorate, the national leaders took lead in making headlines by hook or by crook.
Taking the lead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his rallies repeatedly said ‘SCAM’ stood for SP, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati and dubbed Mayawati’s BSP as ‘Bahujan Sampatti Party’.
Not to lag far behind, Akhilesh came out with his own take on SCAM, saying it stood for ‘Save Country from Amit (Shah) and Modi’.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, however, said SCAM meant ‘seva, courage, ability, modesty’ attracting more criticism than making headlines.
Not in the habit of taking things lying down, the BSP supremo had no qualms in giving a personal retort naming PM as “Mr Negative Dalit Man” for Narendra Damodardas Modi to brand him anti-Dalit.
Akhilesh Yadav’s remark on the donkeys of Gujarat asking ‘Main sadi ke mahanayak se appeal karta hoon ke Gujarat ke gadhon ka prachar mat karein (I appeal to the superstar of the century to not campaign for the donkeys of Gujarat)’ was taken as more loaded than witty.
“Ek gadhe ka vigyapan aata hai, main iss sadi ke sabse bade mahanayak se kahunga ke ab aap Gujarat ke gadhon ka prachar mat kariye (There’s an ad on TV which shows donkeys. I appeal to century’s biggest star…please stop endorsing donkeys of Gujarat),” Akhilesh had said.
“What will happen if the donkeys also start getting advertised?” the UP CM had asked the audience.
SP’s popular ‘kaam bolta hai’ campaign has been facing all round flak with the Prime Minister asserting that it is “not kaam (work) but karname (misdeeds)” which do all the talking for the UP government.
Rahul drawing on the strength of the alliance with the SP gave a filmy twist to Prime Minister’s ‘achhe din’ saying “people thought he was Shahrukh Khan of DDLJ and after three years he turns out as Gabbar Singh of Sholay”.
Modi’s claims of being the adopted son of the state who will never desert his ‘mai baap” saw Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi attacking the prime minister, saying there was no need for it as UP had two youths – Rahul and Akhilesh.
“PM Narendra Modi had earlier too said Varanasi has adopted me and I am like a son for it and will develop it…does UP need to adopt anyone from outside…are there no youth here…you have two such youth in Rahulji and Akhileshji before you who have UP in their hearts and mind…,” said Priyanka, turning the fight into “local versus outsider”.
Mayawati had her own take when she said, “People of the state have made up their mind to elect the beti of the state rather than any outsider.”
With his “graveyard-cremation ground and Diwali-Ramzan” comment in Fathepur rally, Modi came in for attack by opponents for trying to give communal hue to polls.
If Akhilesh continued to irritate the BSP chief calling her “buaji”, Mayawati called him “babua” and claimed that “BJP and its leaders have lost the glow on their faces.”
Akhilesh even said BBC stood for ‘Buaji Broadcasting Corporation’.
Modi in one of his rallies said he could see Akhilesh sweat. “His face has lost the glow, his voice has become feeble, he is afraid and looking for words while talking to media…as if he has lost the game,” he said.
Not one to be left behind, BJP chief Amit Shah gave a new meaning to KASAB (the Pakistani terrorist) as KA standing for Congress, SA for SP and B for BSP.
“Unless Kasab is laid to rest , development and prosperity will continue to elude the poll-bound state,” Shah said.
Known for his witty rejoinders, RJD president Lalu Yadav asked “Modi claims he is the adopted son of UP? I want to ask who is his father in the state?”
He also compared Modi with the US president Donald Trump.
“Modi looks like the twin brother of US President Donald Trump as nobody knows what he will do next,” quipped Lalu.
While referring to Modi’s mannerisms at election rallies, Lalu used a derogatory term and said the Prime Minister engaged in “empty talk”.