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Virulent abuses become the staple of election speeches

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi's re-election bid was likely to have hinged on subjects he has tried to showcase during his tenure -- ease of doing business, cutting red tape and the big heave-ho that was delivered to the Indian economy. The term used to describe him early into his prime ministership was "Disruptor". Nationalism was meant to be the muscular padding that kept the safe. But, 2019 will be known for the virulent abuse-fest that it has become.

Each epithet appears to get a momentum all on its own. On May 5, took a dig at Rahul Gandhi's father and said the former PM's life ended as "corrupt no 1". "Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1' (corrupt number 1)," he said.

That remark drew the battlelines, with forces arraigned on either side -- those who felt insulting a former who had been assassinated was reprehensible and others who felt that being assassinated or martyred did not mean could not be criticised for his record in government. For the record, has raised the matter again.

Modi is no stranger to personal attacks on him and this election has been no different. As he accused the Bahujan Samaj Party's Mayawati of shedding crocodile tears over the Alwar rape case, the former Uttar Pradesh countered it by asking, "How can he respect others' sisters and wives when he has left his own wife for political gains? It is my special appeal to women of this country not to vote a person like this. PM Modi, in this election, kept changing his caste according to the situation."

Mayawati continued: "In BJP, married women leaders get scared when they see their husbands around PM Modi. They fear that this Modi will separate them from their husbands," she said at the press conference in

That very day, the and the Trinamool traded insults in At an election rally, said about Mamata Banerjee, "We will restore the glory of Bengal. has turned 'sonar' (golden) Bangla into 'kangal' (pauper) Bangla. She is only interested in protecting infiltrators to secure her But her won't be able to save her from imminent defeat."

Trinamool retaliated with the words "puke-worthy" and low life in a tweet, "That puke-worthy Shah had the audacity to use the term 'Kangal Bangla' today at a rally. The people of Bengal will give him and Modi a fitting reply in Phase 7. That #LowLife insults Bengal."

members say that Congress should be blamed for lowering the discourse. They point in this connection to the 'Chowkidar chor hai' slogan coined by The sharp personal attack on Rajiv Gandhi, political observers believe, has been triggered by this very remark. and BJP members have consistently targeted the former Prime Minister on corruption and for allegedly using the INS Viraat to host friends on a holiday trip.

For their part, some indefatigable Modi baiters in the Congress have shown no signs of backing down. One of them is the former Union minister who justified the offensive 'Neech Aadmi' remark against -- he was suspended by the Congress for two years following that remark -- in two opinion pieces. That was preceded by Sam Pitroda's "Hua to hua" remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

In response, of BJP's IT cell tweeted: "Upset that was getting all the attention, the irrepressible pulls Pitroda's foot out of his mouth and puts it in his..."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 15 2019. 17:28 IST