Name calling has peaked this election season, with prime minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and BSP supremo Mayawati missing no opportunity to launch personal attacks on each other. With three more phases of voting left, the dialogue has gradually shifted from problems in the state to mere name-calling. Here’s a handy list, if anyone’s keeping score:
* Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘SCAM’ acronym
SCAM, which stands for (S)amajwadi (C)ongress (A)khilesh (M)ayawati, was coined by PM Modi when he was campaigning in Meerut. The acronym, clubbing all his political rivals together, set the rhetoric rolling for its innuendo. “Decide whether you want SCAM or the BJP and UP’s development,” he had asked the people. While Akhilesh reinterpreted it as ‘Save Country from Amit (Shah) and Modi’, and Rahul tried his hand with ‘Seva, Courage, Ability, Modesty’, Mayawati thankfully just called it a casteist jab without indulging into any more acronyms.
However, Tom Vadakkan, spokesperson for the Congress, launched a more scathing attack on PM Modi with his Hindi translation of SCAM – Sattabhogi (hungry for power), Kapti dhongi (fraudster) and Amit Shah Modi.
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* Akhilesh’s ‘Gadha’ remark
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister took a jibe at PM Modi (and Amitabh Bachchan) when he requested the “sadi ke mahanayak (biggest superstar of the century)” not to “do any ad campaigns for Gujarat’s gadhas (donkeys)”. Campaigning in Raebareli, Akhilesh was referred to a Gujarat advertisement endorsing the wild ass. Going into a defensive, PM Modi replied saying he draws inspiration from donkeys to work tirelessly for the people even under adverse conditions.
“Some people don’t like the donkey. But we take care of donkeys in Gujarat in the manner we take care of lions,” he said, ahead of the fourth phase of polling. “The people of this country are my master, I take inspiration from the donkey because I work for people day and night.” He also said donkeys are loyal and hardworking.
* BSP; Mayawati’s ‘Bahujan Sampatti Party’
Targeting Mayawati, PM Modi has repeatedly dubbed her party the ‘Bahujan Sampatti Party’ (Lady’s Wealth Party) for protesting demonetisation while alleging her amassed wealth through corruption. Mayawati is popularly referred to as ‘behenji’.
Mayawati didn’t hesitate to rustle up ‘Negative Dalit Man’, a new meaning for the acronym NDM or Narendra Damodar Modi, which was well received by her followers.
* PM’s kabristan-shamshaan comment
The prime minister attacked Akhilesh in a rally in Fatehpur for religious-based discrimination. Drawing a parallel between Hindu and Muslim festivals, he had said, “If you create kabristaan (graveyard) in a village, then a shamshaan (cremation ground) should also be created. If electricity is given uninterrupted in Ramzan, then it should be given in Diwali without a break.”
Akhilesh responded, “PM kabristan aur shamshaan ki baat kar rahe hain, hum laptop aur smartphone ki baat kar rahe hain.”
Rahul, who came to Akhilesh’s aid, pointed out the “hatred” and “division in society”, propagated by Modi.
* The Gabbar Singh of Sholay
One of Rahul Gandhi’s significant jibes this season has been calling PM Modi the Gabbar Singh of Sholay. He said that while Modi assured ‘achhe din’ as was promised in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, he has ended up being the Gabbar Singh of Sholay.
* Amit Shah’s KASAB
When SCAM got old, Amit Shah coined KASAB — ‘Ka’ for Congress, ‘Sa’ for the Samajwadi Party and ‘B’ for BSP. The reference is to Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist captured by India after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“Unless Kasab is laid to rest, development and prosperity will continue to elude the poll-bound state,” Shah had said.
Calling his mindset “shameful”, Mayawati responded saying “there cannot be a bigger Kasab” than Shah.
Akhilesh spun a new meaning for the abbreviation, saying “We used to study that it was ‘KA se kabutar’ but these people are teaching something else. This time round, people are going to set your ‘kabutar’ (pigeons) free.”
* UP’s Buaji and Babua
Akhilesh’s ‘Buaji Broadcasting Corporation and Mayawati’s ‘Babua’ ended in a 1-1 tie.
* Uttam Pradesh
Modi plans on renaming the poll-bound state Uttam Pradesh (excellent Pradesh) if SP is voted out and BJP comes to power.
* The Congress’s long list for BJP
Till now, the Congress has come up with Brashtrachar Jagao Party (party that promotes corruption), Bhagora Judao Party (party of turncoats), Bhramjaal Party, Bhai-bhatijawad Party (party of nepotism), Bhaichara Jalao Party (party that promotes enmity) and Bhram Jagao Party (party that creates illusion).