As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections closes in gradually, the current ruling party in the BMC – Shiv Sena – and its alliance partner BJP are openly waging a war against each other on social media since the last two days. The civic body polls are slated to be held in February 2017.
According to sources, this recent scuffle on social media clearly points out that both parties might go alone in the upcoming elections.
Both the parties tried to outmatch each other using words laced in sarcasm and images that bespoke that they are capable enough to take each other down. Here are the few images which they used against each other.
The fiery Shiv Sena – known for never mincing its words – called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘Gaddaar’ (traitor) while showing him as a snake emerging from the pit. While the words read: “Snake in someone else’s pit. You flourished with Shiv Sena’s support till now; traitor; you forgot our favours.”
The BJP came up with a visual depiction of the Hindi proverb: Haathi chale baazaar showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s larger-than-life presence towering Uddhav Thackeray. The proverb – Haathi chale bazaar, kutte bhauken hazaar – urges a person to be thick-skinned, when baseless and harsh criticisms are hurled at the person. The half-written proverb indicates how they have likened Uddhav Thackeray to a dog.
This file image shows Narendra Modi bowing down in front of the then Sena supremo Bal Thackeray with respect and another image of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis shaking hands with Uddhav Thackeray with words that meant: Is this the same NaMo’s BJP which forgot the favours done to it by Matoshree?
A fiery rejoinder followed by the BJP attacking one of the Sena’s symbols – tiger – and showing Narendra Modi’s joint address at the US Congress at the Capitol Hill with words that read: Shiv Sena’s job is to criticise wearing a tiger’s skin. But it takes a true tiger’s heart to boost the image of India at an international diaspora.
This particular caricature showed how in 1989, Bal Thackeray (his hands) nursed a tiny lotus plant when the ties between the two parties were cordial. The other hand on the right shows how Uddhav (again, his hands) has the power to uproot the fully-grown lotus by 2019.
This text is a popular Marathi saying which has an English equivalent: Birds of a feather flock together. This clearly implies that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut and party chief Uddhav Thackeray are like-minded.
Flinging another attack, Shiv Sena showing Narendra Modi as ‘Churan Baba’ (loosely translated as someone who boasts of his achievements and can easily fool people using smart words). The write-up meant: There won’t be any acche din, people will show them who is the boss. We are in no hurry.
Stating that the nation doesn’t run because of the deeds of one’s father (hinting at Bal Thackeray) and blessings of one’s mother (hinting on Matoshree); to run a nation one must truly confront the hurdles bravely (hinting at their mouthpiece Saamna – which means to confront)
However, so far neither BJP nor Shiv Sena leaders or spokespersons have claimed any responsibility for the posters. There are reports that it may be the handiwork of BJP’s Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar who has adopted a strident posture against Sena ahead of crucial BMC polls early next year.
Sena spokesperson, Sanjay Raut, had recently likened the BJP regime at the Centre with the “rule of the Nizam”. Addressing a Sena rally in Aurangabad on Wednesday, Raut had slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting the drought-hit Marathwada region.
This ongoing battle between the allied parties for wresting the BMC polls has only become more interesting, one poster at a time.