As the BJP got increasingly desperate towards the last phases of polling, it began to throw away the development plank in favour of cow politics and polarisation. The campaign ads on the newspapers turned blatantly communal and the usually cautious prime minister also got into the act.
“Nitish and Lalu are conspiring to take away five per cent reservation of the OBCs, EBCs and Dalits and give it away to minorities [Muslims],” he said at an election rally at Buxar.
“I will die to protect your rights and never allow conspirators to steal away your reservation” Modi said to an audience, largely comprising EBCs, OBCs and Dalits in Bihar’s one of most backward regions.
However, the subtle polarising act had started some time before. After 10 days of silence on the Dadri incident, Modi said, “The Dadri incident or the opposition to Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert is sad and undesirable. But what is the role of the Central government in these incidents?”
He then blamed the “pseudo-secularists” for opening up a non-existent debate. “Such controversies have happened in the past too. The BJP has always opposed pseudo-secularism. Today, when we are faced with such an unfortunate malady, the same debate has resurfaced. This can only be resolved through discussions,” he said.
Later, replying to Lalu’s comment that Hindus also eat beef, Modi said on 8 October at a rally at Munger, “Lalu Prasad Yadav has insulted the Yadav community by commenting on what they eat.”
Unlike in Delhi, where Kiran Bedi was roped in late, Modi has remained the face of the NDA throughout the election campaign and has attended an unprecedented number of election rallies by a prime minister in an Assembly election.