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Opposition parties’ amusing response to Amit Shah’s speech proves that they are bereft of ideas

Twisting of phrases to gain political mileage has been one of the hallmarks of the secular-liberal gang to renew their falling political fortunes in India. A classic example of this in recent times was the PM’s pakodawala reference which unravelled the futile arguments of Modi’s political opposition. This not only revealed their political bankruptcy but also their contempt for the common man.

A similar sort of absurd circus took centre stage after Amit Shah used the word ‘flood’ in reference to Modi’s rising popularity. He compared opposition parties to a bunch of animals who climb up the same tree for the sake of survival. The comments were made at a rally to mark BJP’s Sthapana Divas (foundation day). Anyone familiar with Hindi would understand that Shah was speaking metaphorically, of the newfound ‘opposition unity’ in a bid to contain the BJP in elections.

However, opposition parties and the media gave it many twists in a bid to portray Shah as an uncouth politician who uses abusive language. While Shah might have been aggressive in his speech, the paranoia he has generated among the opposition parties is amusing.

In fact the opposition has been using indefensible language in its discourse. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has used worse language in the past. The phrases used by her include ‘Maut Ka Saudagar‘ (merchants of death), ‘Zeher Ke Kheti’ (Sows seeds of Poisons). Rahul Gandhi had used the phrase ‘Khoon ke dalali‘ (Traders of blood). A Congress cabinet minister Beni Prasad Verman had said that ‘Modi pagal kutta hain’. In spite of having such a record, the Congress party had objections to Shah’s reference to animals. A Congress spokesperson played the victim card and accused BJP of being ignorant of the ‘D’ of democracy on a TV debate.

The Karnataka Chief Minister perceived this comment as a signal which indicates tough times for Dalits, farmers and poor. When Shah was referring to political parties, Siddaramaiah inserted Dalits and farmers into the picture. 

Randeep Singh Surjewala, another Congress spokesperson took the opportunity to talk of distressed farmers, unemployed youth, SC/ST and small traders into the picture. In fact, many acts of the UPA had left the economy in a horrible situation at the time Modi took over. The current government had to spend a considerable amount of energy to lift the prospects of the economy and bring in much-needed reforms like GST ( Goods and Services Tax), IBC (insolvency and bankruptcy code) and initiate the cleanup of bad loans.

Another vocal critic of the BJP and its leaders, Prakash Raj jumped into the fray and said that the language used by Amit Shah was antithetical to the idea of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ ( a campaign phrase of BJP to indicate the inclusive development of all Indians). Though, BJP had never mentioned that ‘sabka saath sabka vikaas’ would include the vikaas of the political opposition.

In another TV debate, an RJD spokesperson said that Amit Shah’s language was disgusting and unconstitutional. She might have forgotten about the comment of Tej Pratap Yadav of her party who threatened to skin Modi alive if he removed Lalu Prasad Yadav’s security. It is amusing to see such parties take the moral high ground regarding probity in public life.

The habit of outraging over the comments of BJP leaders may or may not result in political dividends. However, it demonstrates the fact that the opposition is running out of ideas to counter the government effectively in recent times.

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