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Gujarat elections: From Neech aadmi to Pakistan role, here are 5 bombshells that could weigh on results

With the rhetoric in the Gujarat election campaign hitting a new low, here are some controversial comments that could have a bearing on the final results

india Updated: Dec 13, 2017 17:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gujarat elections 2017,Gujarat elections campaigning,Narendra Modi
Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Congress leader suspended for his controversial comment about the prime minister.

Campaigning for the Gujarat elections marked a new low for politicians: words like “neech” (lowly) and ‘Aurangzeb raj’ were used, and no less than the prime minister was criticised for his comments.

Here is who said what to attack their political rivals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar

Modi alleged that Aiyar had visited Pakistan and in a meeting with Pakistanis discussed “removing” him. “You had gone to Pakistan to give my ‘supari’, you wanted to give Modi’s ‘supari’ (contract killing),” said Modi in Bhabar, Gujarat. Modi was also criticised for describing Rahul Gandhi’s election as Congress president “Aurangzeb raaj” and asking the party to choose between “Ram Mandir and Babri masjid” in Ayodhya. The two remarks are controversial because many analysts believe they are polarising and communal.

Rahul Gandhi on GST, “chowkidar”

The Congress leader called the government’s Goods and Services Tax reform as “Gabbar Singh Tax”, a play on the Sholay movie villain. Modi hit back by saying that a “recently emerged economist” was propagating a “grand stupid thought” by suggesting that the GST rate should be capped at 18%. GST currently has four tax slabs. Gandhi accused Modi of being “silent” on a news report claiming that BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s company’s profit rose after the party came to power in 2014.”Modi ji, Jay Shah-’jada’ kha gaya. Aap chowkidaar the ya bhagidaar? Kuch toh boliye,” Rahul said on Twitter, referring to Modi’s ‘shahazada’ barb against him during the last Lok Sabha elections.

Aiyar’s “neech aadmi” comment

This what Aiyar said at a press conference about Modi: “Ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, ismein koi sabhyata nahi hai, aur aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajneeti karne ki kya avashyakta hai? (This man is a low-life person, he isn’t cultured... on this occasion, why does he need to do dirty politics?).” The Congress first asked to him apologise and then suspended him.

Congress leader Alpesh Thakor

Thakor, an OBC leader who joined the Congress recently, said Modi eats imported mushroom to have fair skin. “Somebody told me that Modi ji has imported mushrooms from Taiwan. Each mushroom costs Rs 80,000 and PM Modi has five every day. I was told he has been eating them since he was the chief minister.”

Congress magazine ridicules Modi

Yuva Desh, the Indian Youth Congress’s magazine, tweeted a picture of Modi in conversation with US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. The tweet ridiculed Modi’s English language skills and said he was better off selling tea. The Congress apologised and had to delete the tweet after criticism.

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 17:21 IST