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Punjab poll lingo: 'Pappu PM' and 'qattal-e-aam'

Friday January 27, 2012 07:28:19 PM, Jaideep Sarin, IANS

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EC bans 'peo-puttar' words in Punjab poll campaign

First it was 'kaka' and now it is 'peo-puttar' (father-son). The Election Commission (EC) Sunday directed that the words 'peo-puttar' should not be used in advertisements and campaigning, in an incorrect manner, in the run-up to the Jan 30 assembly poll in Punjab. »

Chandigarh: One leader refers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a "Pappu PM" while another talks of doing a "qattal-e-aam" (massacre) of party rebels. Punjab may be going without posters and flags to keep poll expenses in check but colourful language is in full flow.

As campaigning for the Jan 30 elections to 117 assembly seats gets into its last phase, the tone of leaders is getting sharper.

Addressing an election rally at Khanna town near Ludhiana last week, Punjab Congress president and former chief minister Amarinder Singh, openly warned rebel candidates that there would be a "qattal-e-aam" against them if they did not withdraw from the fray against official candidates.

The comment led to a political uproar and Amarinder immediately apologised for it.

Amarinder said: "I regret using that word in my speech and I apologise for that." He said what he actually meant was that all the rebels would be expelled from the party if they did not retire.

The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine leaders were quick to make an issue of the remark saying it reflected the panic in the Congress camp before the polls.

But the one who took the cake as far as colourful comments go was BJP's Amritsar MP and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu.

Addressing a rally in Hoshiarpur town this week, Sidhu termed Manmohan Singh a political 'dwarf' and said he was nothing more than a "pappu PM".

"He may be a Sardar (Sikh) but he is not 'asardar' (effective)," he told the gathering.

"Woh arth shastri nahin, anarth shastri hai (He is not an economist but an agent of destruction). He has given only inflation and unemployment to this country," Sidhu said.

Drawing comparisons of the Congress party with recent superhit item numbers from films, Sidhu said: "Eh Sheela ate Munni tohn jada badnaam ho chuki hai, ate Jalebi Bai vaang nilaam ho chuki hain (The Congress has become more infamous than Sheela and Munni and has been sold out like Jalebi Bai)."

The Congress and the Akali Dal are already in the midst of an ad-war through their 'Jeeta and Jaggi' and 'Jhootha and Thaggi' campaigns with insinuations against each other.

The media monitoring committee of the Election Commission (EC) has already asked both sides not to use words like 'kaka' (a reference to Sukhbir Badal) and 'peo-puttar' (father-son, reference to Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal). Even the caricatures of Amarinder Singh have been banned by the committee.

Words like 'bulbula' (bubble), 'golak chor' (vault thief), 'sharabi' (alcoholic) and 'gaddar' (traitor) have also been hurled by leaders against each other in the run up to the assembly polls.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at




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