Bihar campaign gets acerbic as leaders hit below the belt
The air is toxic as the tongue has gone acerbic in Bihar that on Wednesday goes to poll for the first of the three-phased elections. The captains of political parties in their quest to damn and damage each other to the hilt are hitting below the belt, leaving aside their “gentleman façade”. And in the process, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too is being dragged in.
Turning the big battle for Bihar more personal this week, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, otherwise known for attacking his rivals from within the dignified confines, took potshots at rival Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav for having nine children, in his pursuit for a son.
Though the Chief Minister didn’t mention the Yadavs in his jibe, he did not leave much to the imagination of his poll audience when he said, “They have eight-nine children. They have no faith in daughters. After so many daughters, they had a son. You all can see — this is the kind of Bihar they want to make.”
Nitish Kumar could say so about Lalu’s “numbers” as his own family is small and incognito.
In a sharp response, Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav, reminded Kumar that Narendra Modi also has several siblings and by commenting on my family, he is targeting the Prime Minister also. “Using such language, Nitish Kumar has insulted women and my mother’s sentiments. They don’t speak on the main issues, like inflation, corruption, unemployment,” Tejashwi, who has been targeting Nitish by calling him “mentally and physically tired”, said.
Siding with its ally, the Congress said Nitish’s conduct shows he is upset and worried about his defeat.
But this is not the first time that the Chief Minister took up the “cause” of “daughters” in the ongoing Bihar poll. Early this week, he raised the issue of the alleged misbehaviour with Aishwarya Rai, the estranged wife of Lalu Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav.
“Look at what kind of ill-treatment was meted out to an educated girl…whatever happened made us feel very ashamed,” Nitish exclaimed while addressing her father Chandrika Rai’s election rally. Rai is seeking re-election as JD(U) candidate from Parsa Assembly segment.
Nitish is indeed also losing his cool in many rallies, getting aggressive, asking his men to push away protesters in his rallies and picking up arguments with those shouting “murdabad” in his public meetings.
May be it has to do with the attacks against him from all corners – even from Nitish’s erstwhile NDA ally and LJP leader Chirag Paswan, who has threatened to put him behind the bars if party comes to power in Bihar.
The attack on each other is no more discreet but personal and a direct one in the Bihar poll as stakes go high for desperate regional leaders.
“Nitish Kumar and his officers will be behind bars if we come to power,” Chirag said while addressing a rally in Buxar’s Dumraon for Bihar Assembly elections. The JD(U) responded with a sharp retort with its State Minister Sanjay Jha terming him a “jamura” (someone dancing to master’s tune).
“The statement made by Chirag about Nitish ji is part of “jamura” role he is playing nowadays. Now, you can interpret to your own understanding who Chirag’s “madaari” is. Someone is making Chirag dance to their tunes, so he’s dancing,” said Jha.
Paswan reacted to Jha’s “jamura” comment by interpreting it as an insult to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by calling him a “madaari”. “If I am a jamura, who is the madaari? Do they know who they are mocking? They say that I am acting on the orders of the Prime Minister. By calling me jamura, they are insulting the Prime Minister and calling him a madaari. The continuous insult of the Prime Minister is beyond me. By being against just one person, you are speaking against the PM as well,” he said, creating a flutter in the BJP ranks who want him not to show his slip before the polls are wrapped up.
Wednesday, 28 October 2020 | Deepak Upreti | New Delhi