With both sides of the political divide bent on stopping the opposing camp from making any gains, political discourse has hit an all-time low.
With Lok Sabha Elections 2019 just days away, the campaigns by political parties have reached their peak. Amid the Model Code of Conduct, senior leaders of all parties have hit the campaign trail to make sure their candidates are able to strike the right chord with voters. Elections in India are often fought on perception other than real issues. Amid the political tug of war in this battle of shifting narratives, there have been some statements that are uncalled for.
A number of leaders trying to impress their particular set of votes have come out with statements that are not expected from leaders ahead of the all-important polls in the country. With both sides of the political divide bent on stopping the opposing camp from making any gains, political discourse has hit an all-time low. From Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath raking up Pakistan to target Congress to the Owaisi Brothers from Hyderabad making personal attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, political discourse stoops to new lows as the battle peaks.
Here are some such statements by top leaders from both sides of the political divide:
Yogi Adityanath: During a campaign in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Yogi Adityanath referred to Congress candidate Imran Masood as the son-in-law of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. The JeM chief is accused by India of orchestrating a number of attacks in India, including Pulwama terror attack, that led to killings of 40 CRPF jawans.
“Azhar Masood’s son-in-law comes to Saharanpur and speaks his language. Should someone who speaks Masood’s language be allowed to win from Saharanpur or should the symbol of development and security, Raghav Lakhanpal (the BJP candidate), win?”, he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. Notably, Imran Masood is the same individual who had said he will “cut Modi into pieces” in the heat of the 2014 poll campaign.
Vijay Rupani: While addressing a BJP rally in Mehsana on Sunday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that Pakistan will celebrate if Congress comes to power in the country after the upcoming general elections.
“While this (Congress victory) is not going to happen, but when the results (of the general election) are announced on May 23 and (if) the Congress wins by mistake, then Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan because they (Congress) are all associated with it”, he was quoted as saying by PTI.
N Chandrababu Naidu: Hitting a new low, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said Opposition leader Jaganmohan Reddy was like ganja (cannabis) in a tulsi garden. Speaking in Budvel, he said as per IANS, “In this Tulsi garden, a ganja plant has also grown. He is Jagan Mohan Reddy.”
Surendra Singh: BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh Surendra Singh stirred a controversy Sunday by comparing former Congress president Sonia Gandhi with popular dancer Sapna Chaudhary. He was quoted by ANI as saying, “ Rahul Gandhi’s mother was also from the same profession in Italy. Just like his father made Sonia Gandhi his own, he should also accept Sapna Chaudhary. The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law will be from the same profession.”
Asaduddin Owaisi: Launching a fresh attack at Narendra Modi on Pulwama terror attack, AIMIM supreme Asaduddin Owaisi asked whether the PM “ate beef biryani and slept” when the attack took place.
“Indian Air Force dropped bombs in Balakot. On this issue, Amit Shah said 250 dead and Rajnath Singh said NTRO tapped 300 cell phones in Balakot. You can see that 300 cell phones were there in Balakot, but you could not see how 50 kg RDX was moved to Pulwama under your nose,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Akbaruddin Owaisi: Asaduddin’s brother also slammed PM Narendra Modi after the BJP’s campaign Main Bhi Chowkidar. Days after a number of BJP leaders added the Chowkidar prefix to their names on Twitter, he was quoted as saying by ANI, “We want a PM, not a ‘Chaiwala’, ‘Pakodewala’…I am surprised at those who vote for Modi, what kind of person they vote for? If Modi is so interested in being a ‘Chowkidar’, he should come to me, I will offer him a Chowkidar’s cap and a whistle.”
Javed Rana: National Conference leader Javed Rana while campaigning for the Congress, said as per IANS, “This is the country of Maulana Azad, Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah. An arrogant (person) and the murderer cannot lead us. The paid media feels bad when I say Modi is a terrorist. What is a terrorist? I will say ‘terrorist is equal to Modi and Modi is equal to terrorist.”