Do you remember how BJP President Amit Shah had to face two back-to-back embarrassments in March when his translator wrongly told the audience that ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not do anything for poor, Dalits and the underprivileged. He will destroy the nation. Please vote for him.?’
It had followed Shah’s own gaffe declaring the BJP’s BS Yedyurappa government as the most corrupt ever. Speaking to reporters in Davanagere in Karnataka on 27 March, Shah had said, “A former Supreme Court judge recently said that the Yeddyurappa government should get the number one award for corruption.” He was quickly corrected by one of his party colleagues, sitting next to him.
As the election date for Karnataka assembly polls nears, it seems Shah’s woes are only getting increasingly compounded. And he has his translators to blame. On Tuesday Shah was in Karnataka addressing two rallies in Chikkamagalore and Sringeri. At both the places, Shah’s translators created a public spectacle and left him seething. His animated interactions with his Kannada translators provided plenty of entertainment to the audience, who remained in splits all throughout Shah’s speech.
Shah looked visibly upset with his translators all through his speech with even the sound system letting him down. Around 12 minutes into his speech he finally ran out of patience as he gave a menacing look to his party colleagues, while publicly expressing his disgust for the translator.
This was after the translator’s microphone had stopped functioning and he became barely audible, leaving Shah exasperated. The look on his face was telling.
Shah then heaped embarrassment on himself when he addressed Narendra Modi as BJP’s prime minister! Trying to woo the Dalit audience in Chikkamagalore, Shah said that while the Congress had never considered bestowing Bharat Ratna award upon BR Ambedkar, ‘BJP’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a special session of Lok Sabha in his memory. Modi has, time and again, sought to convince Indians both in India and abroad that he was the prime minister of 125 crore people and not just his party supporters. It’s not yet clear whether it was a Freudian Slip by Shah or a public declaration of truth.
There was also something wierd about the BJP President’s body language in Chikkamagalore. All through his speech, Shah mysteriously kept looking around as if he feared someone’s unexpected arrival. (Watch above till end)
Shah was also annoyed with his translator in Sringeri constituency earlier on Tuesday. He lost his cool on several occasions while publicly admonishing him (WATCH BELOW) for his perceived wrong translation. But, unlike Chikkamagalore, the BJP president looked reassured with his surrounding as he remained focussed on his speech with his eye contact firmly intact with the audience.
Shah’s tryst with his translators did not end here. At one point, while trying to use the analogy of electric supply, he said that Prime Minister Modi was like a power production house, but government in Bengaluru was just like a small transformer, which had burnt out and wasn’t capable of supplying the electricity.
However, his translator said that Modi was like a transformer while calling Siddaramaiah government the power production house! This left Shah angry forcing him to interrupt his translator to make corrections. His animated conversation with his Kannada speaking party colleague caused huge outbursts of laughter in the crowd. And this was the nth time the crowd had burst into laughter on Shah’s public outbursts at his translator.
Then came this a few minutes later. Seeking to woo the voters whose livelihood depended on coffee plantations, Shah said, “Friends, Coffee plantations are drying up and Siddaramaiah government is sleeping.” However, his translator said, “Siddaramaiah government is drying up.” This, once again, prompted Shah to lose his cool. Clearly, he wasn’t having a great day.
Shah appeared to have had enough towards the end of his speech here as his translator did not adequately translate his claims on BJP-governed states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh experiencing significant reduction in farmer suicides. Looking at the local BJP leaders, Shah’s body language and subsequent gesture suggested as if he was saying, “Where have you got this translator from?”
Other highlights of Shah’s two speeches were just how awfully repetitive he sounded. He listed out all the schemes, 114 of them, announced by the Modi government. This was like watching the replay of his speeches from Gujarat assembly elections, albeit with the help of Kannada translators. Just like his speeches during the Gujarat assembly polls, here too, Shah asked audience to clap fervently if he wanted to stop reading out the list of the schemes announced by Modi.
In Chikkamagalore, Shah claimed to count every assembly election that his party had won since 2014. He, however, did not mention his party’s defeats in Delhi, Bihar, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and West Bengal. As for his translators, it’s still not sure whether the gaffes were a case of their conscience not allowing them to repeat the BJP President’s claims or a simple lack of talent.