Election campaign for the second phase of state elections ended on November 15, and now focus of the election campaign has shifted to Rajasthan where third phase of election is scheduled to be held on November 25. At the fag end of second phase of election in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, PM Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi were heard attacking each other indirectly for corruption, and now PM Modi stooped too low using his loose tongue and calling Rahul Gandhi “moorkhon ke sardar” (the leader of the stupids).
Congress leader and the chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot said on November 15 that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lowered the dignity of his post by calling Congress leader Rahul Gandhi the leader of the stupids. He said that using loose tongue by a Prime Minister against the Congress stalwart and his chief political opponent was “very unfortunate”.
“It is very unfortunate. The Prime Minister’s post holds dignity…The more it is criticised, the less it is. If a man holds a position of dignity but says things like this, what can you expect from him?” CM Gehlot said.
“Rahul Gandhi is now popular across the country and the BJP is going to lose the Assembly elections in five states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram). He (PM Modi) knows that he (Rahul Gandhi) will be the PM in 2024 and that is why he is afraid,” Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut has said.
On November 14, PM Narendra Modi had said, “Yesterday, a Congress’s wise man was saying that the people of the country only have made in China mobile. Arre ‘moorkhon ke sardar’, which world do you live in? Congress leaders are afflicted with the mental disease of ignoring India’s achievements. I wonder what foreign glasses they have worn that they are not able to see in India.” Though he not named Rahul Gandhi, it really implied that it was he, no one else.
On November 13, Rahul Gandhi had said in an election rally in Madhya Pradesh that his party wanted to make India a manufacturing giant. He said, “You see behind your mobile phone’s back, your shirt, your shoes — you will find ‘Made in China’ written there. Have you seen behind the camera and shirts ‘made in Madhya Pradesh’ tags? This is what we want to do.”
Rahul Gandhi also alleged that PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had stolen Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. He was referring to the incident of toppling the election Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in 2020 by engineering defection in Congress, the party that had thrown out 15 years BJP rule in the state in 2018 Vidhan Sabha election.
The allegation made by Rahul Gandhi was not a new one. Congress has been alleging that their six elected state governments were toppled through unethical ways and means, including by horse trading, since PM Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of toppling his party’s government in Madhya Pradesh in 2020 by “purchasing” their MLAs, and exuded confidence that the Congress would return to power in the state in the upcoming polls.
It should be noted that there is a wave like anti-incumbency against the ruling BJP government in Madhya Pradesh. However, PM Narendra Modi has wrapped up election campaign in the state by claiming that Congress has accepted defeat and now relying on luck. He expressed confidence of ruling BJP returning to power. His claim is just opposite to election survey results predicting defeat of the BJP and Congress win in the state.
PM Modi has been alleging Congress rule in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan of corruption. ED has been unleased against the ruling CMs in both the state. Only three days before the first phase of election on November 7 on 20 seats in Chhattisgarh, ED has claimed that CM Bhupesh Baghel was illegally paid Rs508 crore by Mahadev betting app promoters. PM Modi has asked Congress to reveal how much illegal money their CM have got.
“Look at Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh… what is the situation of corruption?… they are scared many lockers may open… they are worried about Modi knowing about these lockers, they are opening the lockers and piles of notes are coming out, gold is coming out. Corruption and crime, the combination of these two under Congress is enough to ruin any state. Where Congress comes to power, it brings such destruction,” Modi said.
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has said that under BJP’s double engine government Madhya Pradesh has become corruption capital of India.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has responded to the corruption charges labelled against him by demanding action on all corrupt leaders and beneficiary of corruption. He alleged that “Modi Washing Machine” and “Modi Washing Powder” are used to wash allegations of corruptions against corrupt BJP leaders and ministers, or anyone corrupt who switch over to BJP. He demanded action against all corrupts not only against the leaders of opposition.
The third phase of election campaign in Rajasthan has already turned ugly. Communal fire has been ignited. PM Modi has also raised the communal issue in one of his election campaigns referring killing of a Hindu tailor by two Muslim assailants last year. He alleged that such an incident was result of Congress’ appeasement policy. CM Ashok Gehlot on the other hand called it unfortunate that nobody knows what action were taken by NIA in the case, implying inaction of the Centre under PM Modi.
Third phase of election campaign in Rajasthan may witness another low, even lower than PM Modi’s attack on personal dignity of Rahul Gandhi and lowering the dignity of even Prime Minister’s post. It should be noted that Rahul Gandhi has been a subject of personal ridicule by BJP leaders for quite some time who called him “Pappu” signifying “childish”.
Only few months ago in Karnataka election in May, we had seen how “Pappu” had rendered a humiliating defeat to their “Hindu Hriday Samrat” (an epithet for Narendra Modi) in their respective election campaigns. BJP was thrown out of power by Congress there, and neither PM Mod’s charisma worked not his so called guarantees given to the electorates.
BJP leaders including PM Modi are perhaps staring at a great misfortune for them during the election campaigns, which has disturbed their mind to such an extent that they have started using loose tongues. One week from now would be crucial for Rajasthan election, and the fates of the Congress and the BJP in the state and also in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election 2024. (IPA Service)