The run-up to the high-stakes civic polls in Delhi has not only seen high-decibel campaigning by the leading parties engaging in bitter blame games, but also the birth of colourful and quirky phrases from the mouths of politicians.
From ‘Dhokha Ratna’ and ‘Kattar Beiman’ used by BJP leaders to target AAP leaders, to ‘video-making company’ and ‘mountain of failures’ used by the Aam Aadmi Party to pin down its biggest rival, these verbal volleys have only upped the ante ahead of the December 4 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls.
The BJP has been in power in the MCD since 2007. During its 15-year-run at its helm, the party has seen the civic body trifurcated into NDMC, SDMC, and EDMC (2012-2022), and its reunification earlier this year.
Several chief ministers and Union ministers have stumped for BJP candidates in the past few weeks, raising the fever pitch while engaging in political attacks, with the AAP and its supremo Arvind Kejriwal often in the crosshairs.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday blasted his Delhi counterpart on the issue of corruption, saying Kejriwal should get a “Dhokha Ratna” for creating a “mess” and bringing ignominy to the national capital.
Campaigning for the BJP candidates, he said, “We have heard about the Great Wall of China… Kejriwal has now become the ‘corruption wall’.”
Chouhan also slammed the AAP convenor for defending his ministers — Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain.
“It is amusing that Kejriwal demanded Bharat Ratna for Satyendar Jain and Manish Sisodia. Kejriwal should be given ‘Dhokha Ratna Puraskar’ and Sisodia ‘Sharab Ratna Pursakar’ for the existing condition of Delhi,” he said.
Citing leaked videos of Satyendar Jain from Tihar jail that showed him taking a massage in his cell, the senior BJP leader said, “He (Jain) should get the ‘Ghotala and Massage Ratna’.”
But the AAP chief has made light of these videos, allegedly released by the BJP, and labelled the saffron party as a “video-making company” whose business as a party has been shut by the people of Delhi.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Kejriwal ripped into BJP saying that the series of sting videos on AAP leaders it released before civic polls are “awful and boring films” which no one wants to watch.
Kejriwal’s remarks have come in the backdrop of jailed AAP minister Satyendar Jain finding himself in the eye of a political storm over videos purportedly showing him getting massages and other facilities in the Tihar prison, where he is lodged since May 31 in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.
BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia had on November 22, after the purported videos had surfaced, demanded Kejriwal to apologise to the entire nation and dismiss Satyendar Jain.
Playing on the acronym AAP, he called it “arajak aparadhi party,” and accused it of “defending” Jain’s folly in jail.
Over allegations linked with the excise policy case, Bhatia had in August said that Kejriwal’s silence on corruption charges proved he was a “kattar beiman” (hardcore dishonest)” and not a “kattar imandar” (hardcore honest)” as he professed to be.
The bickering between the two parties have only intensified over the past few months.
On November 25, Union minister Anurag Thakur said that the AAP government in Delhi had become synonymous with anarchy, and alcohol, scams, and corruption were its three friends.
Campaigning for the BJP, Thakur had said the AAP chief penned an unforgettable chapter on “the politics of lies” in his seven years in power.
AAP hasn’t pulled its punches either and often sought to bury its opponent under the weight of the landfill sites issue.
During an interaction with the people in the Badli assembly segment on November 27, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had claimed that the Bhalswa landfill site symbolises the BJP’s “mountain of failure” during its 15-year-rule in the city’s civic body.
The AAP’s poll campaign song is called ‘MCD mey bhi Kejriwal’ and they have also launched ‘Kejriwal ki Sarkar, Kejriwal ka Paarshad’, which AAP says is a drive to “alert voters to pick only AAP councillors and not a single BJP councillor” in the election.
(With PTI inputs)
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