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Election campaign : No-holds abuse time

New Delhi, Nov 19 (): Election campaign this time will be remembered as the fiercest with a volley of abuses being traded against each party. The entry of Narendra Modi has heated up the election campaign. Modi’s entry has made his enemies the fiercest attackers.

Although political differences always get sharper during elections, the war of abuses is very intense and so early this time before the elections that both the camps looked a little stunned after each punch and then responding with a befitting hit. And it finally does not matter who drew first blood.

Pollsters said the last time opponents were attacked severely was during the 1989 Lok Sabha polls, when the Congress put out a series of adverts, under the slogan, ‘My Heart Beats in India!’ It suggested by disturbing illustrations the horrors the country would face if the opposition comes to power.

Questions to scare the voter like, “Will India survive a coalition government?” were asked. The campaign did not help then PM Rajiv Gandhi to push off a challenge from VP Singh.

However, this election season, the trend is to identify the rivals with the animal world like scorpions, rats and bloodied paws. The Election Commission watchdog rapped Rahul Gandhi for blaming the BJP of engineering riots in his October 23 remarks.

The Election Commission also sent a notice to Modi for his call to Chhattisgarh voters to be wary of the “khooni panje” (bloodied paws/hands) and “jalim haathon” (cruel hands).

The lone voice of sanity, PM Manmohan Singh said Modi was using “bad” language against political rivals. The BJP’s response was that the Congress leaders crossed all barriers of “decent politics” and now suddenly discovered the need for civility in speech.

But, Singh’s call for sanity was followed up by his own partymen and allies with more vicious punches at Modi, most of it below the belt. The Congress ministers get worked up over Modi’s reference to Rahul Gandhi as Shahzada (prince) and saying Indian Mujahideen and the CBI are the same.

Modi’s men list out the remarks by Congress. It recalls Sonia Gandhi’s description of him as ‘maut ka saudagar’ during the 2007 Gujarat polls to Digvijay Singh’s equating Ravan for Modi’s 3D presence in the 2012 state polls.

Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia called Modi as a ‘monkey infected with rabies’ during the 2012 polls. Congress MP Hussai Dalwai referred Modi to a “mouse compared to Sardar Patel” and Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar equated Modi to a “snake, scorpion, dirty man”.

If that was not enough, Nitish Kumar said Modi was like Adolf Hitler, and spreading false propaganda. BJP spokesperson said the Congress party is engaged in the same method.