As the campaign reaches a feverish pitch for the first round of polling in Bihar, “devils” and “demons” have replaced the more placid metaphors in the political discourse.
While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has restricted himself to the more conservative election spiel, the real contest seems to be between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sharp rhetoric and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s rustic fluency.
If Modi used “devil” to define Lalu, it was only a matter of time before the RJD chief came up with an equally sharp repartee. He did not disappoint too, pulling out a more vivid imagery to describe the PM on Friday. “Narendra Modi is not fit to be prime minister. People are spitting at him. If I am the devil, then he is super demon),” Lalu said. “I would tell the people of the State about PM’s ‘ shaitan ’ remark against me.”RJD complaint
Officially, the RJD has complained to the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar Ajay Nayak against the PM for using “disparaging and insulting” language against Lalu and the Yadav caste. These references have been made in response to the PM on Thursday talking about Lalu’s alleged claim that the “devil had sat on his tongue when he justified beef eating”.
“Did shaitan find only that body to enter? He (Lalu) talks as if shaitan was an old friend visiting,” Modi said, mocking at Lalu. Lalu, on his part, denied having said any of it. “Don’t insult Bihar by cooking up some stories about something I said…Modi has insulted Dalits and backwards by his comments. He is frustrated by the poor aligning behind the Grand Alliance and is trying to hide behind the ‘devil’,” he declared.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Giriraj Singh — infamous for his racist remarks against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and asking those who do not want to vote for Modi during the 2014 general elections to ‘go to Pakistan’ — surfaced again to make a characteristic controversial remark.
According to a TV channel, Singh, commenting on the lynching of an elderly Muslim man in Dadri (Uttar Pradesh), said: “The difference between cow meat and goat meat is the same as the difference in the relationship between your wife and your sister.”