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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

From 'AK-49' Kejriwal to ABCD of scams: Deciphering the Modi code of politics

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 27, 2014
First Published: 21:46 IST(27/3/2014) | Last Updated: 21:52 IST(27/3/2014)

Abbreviations and their politically charged expansions are the in thing this election season, thanks to Narendra Modi.


 
At his election rallies over the past few months, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate has given new meanings to the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), while informing the electorate about a brand new usage of the English alphabet.
 
Alongside his humble background as a chaiwallah (tea seller), the zeher ki kheti (sowing seeds of poison) debate and the Congress' 'dynasty politics', Modi has used satire to add some oomph to his speeches, launching stinging attacks on political rivals and at times, drawing criticism for being 'filmy' on stage.
 
The Gujarat chief minister's latest contribution to the dictionary of Elections 2014 comes with the 'AK' salvo aimed at Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal, who will take on Modi in the Varanasi parliamentary constituency.
 
Using initials of the AAP leader's name, Modi has dubbed Kejriwal AK-49, while taking a dig at the activist-turned-politician's 49-day stint in power.
 
"3 AKs are very popular in Pakistan: AK-47, (defence minister) AK Antony & AK-49, whose party talks of referendum in Kashmir & shows Kashmir being in Pakistan," Modi writes on Twitter, in his first direct attack on the ex-Delhi CM.
 
Amid the high-pitched war cry for the summer elections, Modi's penchant for abbreviations has been a key feature of his speeches, giving his fans a lot to talk about.
 
In Punjab, Modi has said ABCD has become a symbol of the Congress party's corruption, lambasting the central government over scams. "A for Adarsh, B for Bofors, C for coal scam." This has resulted in elaborate lists of A-Z of scams being circulated on Twitter.
 


 
However, the new way of looking at ABCD has drawn flak from the Congress. "A man who has the shadow of Amit Shah, Bokhiria, Criminals, Danga (riot), Encounters, and Feku on his reputation, should not talk of ABCD on XYZ," Union law minister Kapil Sibal writes in his blog, adding Modi has a love for filmy-style dialogues and on-stage drama.
 
Read Sibal's blog

Nevertheless, addressing rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Modi has described the SP as a samajvirodhi party (anti-social party) and a sukhvadhi party (a party which is concerned about nothing but its well-being), slamming the ruling party in the state for deteriorating law and order.
 
On the other hand, Modi's expansion of the 'NDA' abbreviation has made the BJP-led coalition a "National Development Alliance", sending out a message that the saffron party, if voted to power, will work for the development of the country.


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