From name-calling to humourous jibes, Bihar polls saw it all

The polls saw an amusing war of words among various leaders to pin down their opponents

Patna: From humour-laced 'jumla baazi' and twisting of abbreviations to cut-throat trading of barbs, the no-holds-barred Bihar polls saw it all even as it threw up a new lexicon of political jibes amidst a game of one-upmanship.

Curtains came down yesterday on polling for the high-stakes Assembly elections and the din and dust of the high- octave electioneering finally began to settle after the hectic campaigning by various parties.

Spread over five phases, the polls saw an amusing war of words among the various leaders who used, by turns, acerbic wit and direct attacks to pin down their opponents in the electoral arena.

The BJP-led NDA and the grand secular alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress, the main contestants at the hustings, took the high-voltage election campaign to what has been described variously as being both a "new high" and a "new low".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the face of BJP and the party's star campaigner, held whirlwind poll rallies from one corner of the state to another, and delivered thundering speeches, seeking to woo the voters while inflicting maximum damage on its opponents, who termed his verbal style as mere "jumlabazi" (barb-trading).

Soon after the announcement of the election dates in early September, the daggers were drawn and pitched verbal battles ensued.

Attacking the 'Mahagathbandhan' of JD(U), RJD and Congress, BJP leaders, campaigners and Modi himself often termed the alliance 'Mahathagbandhan' or 'Mahasarthbandhan'.

The war of words was conducted on social media, too, with unflattering hashtags on Facebook and Twitter surfacing along the way.

The members of the grand alliance, in retaliation, often termed BJP the 'Bharatiya Jumla Party', charging that it was fighting the elections on "hollow claims" and "negative campaigns".

As the campaign progressed, in early October, RJD supreme Lalu Prasad and BJP chief and the second-most prominent face in the polls after Modi, Amit Shah, squared off.

While Lalu called him 'narbakshi' in rallies in Patna and Jamui districts, Shah charged that the former Bihar chief minister was 'chara chor' (fodder thief), prompting the Election Commission to step in to maintain a healthy election atmosphere.

And, if Nitish Kumar made the 'Bihari vs Bahari' pitch to woo voters, Modi cleverly played on the 'jungle raj' claims to punch a hole in the opposition.

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( Source : PTI )
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