Congress has found a word to taunt Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttarakhand: “mitron” (friends). It’s a word Modi uses often in his speeches.
The Congress has put up several posters with slogans starting with “mitron” across Haridwar in Uttarakhand, where Modi will address an election meeting on Friday.
The hill state votes on February 15 to elect 70 new MLAs and the BJP is trying to recreate what it calls “Modi magic” that helped it sweep all five parliamentary seats in 2014. The results will be declared on March 11.
“Mitron ... Bhrastha bagiyon ke sang, yeh badlenge ab Uttarakhand (Friends, with the help of corrupt turncoats, they will now change Uttarakhand),” read one Congress poster.
The Congress’ posters start with “mitron” and then rake up issues like demonetisation, farmer suicides and unemployment. The slogans end with “ye badlenge ab Uttarakhand” (Will such people change Uttarakhand?).
Minutes before Modi landed in the hill state, chief minister Harish Rawat also fired five questions to the Prime Minister who “flaunts his 56-inch chest”.
Rawat called himself an ordinary son of Uttarakhand and sought to know why the Prime Minister had not apologised for imposing President’s rule in the state.
The Centre had imposed President’s rule in the state on March 27, arguing that the Rawat government lost majority when 9 rebel Congress MLAs voted against the state government’s annual budget. A Supreme Court-ordered floor test in May helped the Congress regain power in Uttarakhand.
“Who is your chief ministerial candidate? How will you provide a clean government with corrupt turncoats on your side?” he asked.
The tactic of taking Modi by surprise with similar slogans and questions is a repeat of Bihar where chief minister Nitish Kumar did the same to the Prime Minister before his rally in Muzaffarpur. Kumar has raised a slogan,”Jhanse mein na aayenge, Nitish ko jitayenge (We won’t get duped, will make Nitish victorious)”.
Congress strategists said the idea behind the Haridwar posters was to raise uncomfortable questions that Modi allegedly avoids.