Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday coined an antonym â€˜sarabâ€™ to take a dig at the opposition alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in Uttar Pradesh.
"Sapa (Samajwadi Party) ka 'sa', RLD ka 'Raa' aur Baspa (BSP) ka 'ba', matlab 'sharab'. For UP's good health and for India's future, should you not stay away from sarab? Sapa, RLD, Baspa, ye 'sarab' aapko barbaad kar degi (this sarab destroy you)," the Prime Minister said at an election rally in Meerut.
The opposition also quickly retorted to the PMâ€™s blistering attack with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav saying that PM Modi was confused about the meaning of the words â€˜sarabâ€™ and â€˜sharabâ€™ because of the teleprompter.
"Tele prompters exposed how those who promote hate don't know difference between 'sarab' and 'sharab'; 'Sarab' also means mirage which the BJP has been showing for the last five years," said Akhilesh Yadav.
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Meanwhile, the Congress addressed a press conference, slamming the comments by the prime minister.
â€œDoes this kind of talk befit a Prime Minister? You are calling three political parties sharab? Is this the way a PM talks? Can the people accept this,â€ said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Take back your words and apologise to 130 crore people, or the nation and Uttar Pradesh will never forgive you, Surjewala added.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) also came up with its own version of â€˜sharabâ€™ to hit back at the BJP.
â€œ(PM Modi) Did not learn the difference between â€˜sâ€™ and â€˜shâ€™. Let us teach you â€“ Shahâ€™s â€˜sâ€™, Rajnathâ€™s â€˜râ€™ and BJPâ€™s â€˜bâ€™! This makes Gujarati sharab which is openly sold in alcohol ban,â€ the RJD said in a tweet in Hindi.