BENGALURU: Election is a season of verbal diarrhoea and the state witnessed a lot of it on Saturday.
In the latest instance of the political discourse hitting new lows, Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar called BJP veteran K S Eshwarappa a ‘nut case’.
He was matched by his cabinet colleague Zamir Ahmed Khan who said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wife left him “because he is not a good looking man”.
While there was no reaction from Eshwarappa who is known for controversial comments on his political adversaries, Khan’s statement on the prime minister evoked a swift response from BJP leader B Srimulu.
The Molakalmuru MLA wondered if it is the minister’s culture to desert the spouse.
“In our Indian culture, a man does not leave his wife until death. But I don’t know about Zamir Ahmed Khan’s culture,’’ Sriramulu said.
In Hubballi, state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao called Modi a ‘mafia prime minister’. Rao justified his comments saying, “I-T, ED and CBI are being misused (by the Modi government). Even media is not free.’’
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A few days ago, former MLA Raju Kage had reportedly compared Chief Minister to a buffalo whose looks could not be improved no matter how good the makeup was. His remarks had come soon after Kumaraswamy’s comments that the Prime Minister faced cameras after waxing his face.
On independent candidate Sumalatha, PWD Minister H D Revanna had said, “her husband (MH Ambareesh) died recently and instead of mourning, why is she campaigning.’’Another Minister D C Thamanna had said Sumalatha was inhospitable and “she does not give water to guests at her home.’’
Lok Sabha member L R Shivaramegowda had attacked her saying she was not a Gowdati.
Weeks ago, Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde’s statement wondering if Congress president Rahul Gandhi was a Brahmin had sparked a controversy. He had also said any “Muslim hand that touches a Hindu girl has to be cut off”.
Analyst B S Murthy said the political discourse has not stooped to the level of violence, but it is still bad as leaders seek to entertain voters with their lowly statements.
He said, “Both the sides -- Congress/JD(S) and the BJP - have award winners when it comes impulsive low-level statements. They often do it under pressure and in the heat of it. But, sometimes they use slander as a bait to get the other side to respond. Sometimes words do have an impact. If the fight is very close, they use such comments to score in one way or other.”
Just the other day, Eshwarappa had called Christians “unpatriotic’’ and Congress leader Reuben Moses had offered Harpic and a broom to wash Eshwarappa’s mouth.
If they could help, then we may need many bottles of Harpic and a lot of brooms.