From guarantee, account-account to daughter with kidney… these 13 words dominated the 44-day election campaign, know who said what

Ananya Shroff
8 Min Read

Nandita Sengupta: The results of the Lok Sabha elections will be declared on June 4. Congress, BJP and other regional parties campaigned a lot for the Lok Sabha elections. During this time, the leaders as well as their speeches were discussed a lot. But in the 44 days of noisy election campaign, the leaders told us a lot. The leaders used many words in their speeches. In such a situation, here we will discuss those words that left an impact on our minds.

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1. Crossed 400

The number that kickstarted the BJP's election campaign. You set a target, you defend it. To break the Congress record, the BJP claimed to win 400+ seats. In the first phase, the All India Alliance parties took advantage of this claim. They played the Constitution card. They outplayed the BJP using online and social media. Later, the BJP stopped flaunting the number. Released it again, and then stopped. It cannot be set in stone and sometimes it clashes with perceptions. The exit polls have again projected over 400. We will know about it tomorrow.
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2. Temple

Ram Mandir is a reality. The BJP targeted the enthusiastic vote for the temple in January. Before the ceremony, Modi's electoral arrows pierced the north-south divide as he took a holy dip in the waters of Rameswaram, visited places associated with Ram in the south. Temple politics has rekindled the BJP's cause. Mandir-vikas is the BJP's mission mode. Ram is always looming, never too far from the rally slogan.
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3. Kachchativu

Who knew in January that Rameswaram would soon be in the news again? By the end of March, an old mystery from half a century ago across the Palk Strait between Sri Lanka and India had resurfaced. The BJP tried to make the Indian government's decision to give an uninhabited island to Sri Lanka in 1974 an election issue. It did generate some buzz, but it sank back into the sea once Tamil Nadu was over.

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4. Eternal

Another issue that had taken root in the south and spread to the north was the 'Sanatana' part. Udhayanidhi Stalin's criticism of Hinduism became a weapon for the BJP. India Alliance parties north of the Vindhyas started running for cover. Many turncoats who had left the India Alliance joined the BJP, talking of 'insult to Sanatana'.

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5. Guarantee

From Modi government guarantee to Modi guarantee, the BJP has shifted its promise of governance in 2024 to the Prime Minister. In UP, Yogi may be the warranty, but the guarantee is Modi. For 543 seats, one message – Modi. The beneficiaries are from 2019. The beneficiaries are from the Covid-era. Interestingly, the Congress first used the 5 guarantees during the Karnataka assembly campaign in May 2023. By December 2023, the claimant to the ‘guarantee’ was the BJP.

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6. Right

The demand for caste census gave rise to the slogan 'Jitni Aabadi, Utna Haq' in the Bharat Alliance, while party leaders were entangled in seat sharing. Their argument was: Jitni Prabhat, Utna Haq. The main theme of Bharat, 'Haq' is an integral part of the Congress' Nyay Manifesto.

7. Mangalsutra

The emotional rewriting of 'haq' from the BJP was that India would take away hard-earned wealth, inheritance and property. The metaphor for this was the mangalsutra. It is not made of any gold – but a gold chain that binds a woman to the 'honour' of the family. The Bharat Wapsi alliance was equally emotional.

8. Knock

The rhetoric in the election campaign was fiery, such as when Rahul Gandhi used the word to promise services from day one. Modi responded immediately by saying that the India Alliance would be out of the fight as soon as possible. This K-pop eventually turned into ads and slogans – Khatkhat, Khatkhat.

9. Tempo

Corruption allegations have become an election issue. Modi said tempos filled with allegedly ill-gotten money were being sent to opposition parties. Following this, social media was flooded with memes showing SUVs and planes as tempos. Protesters put their lives on the line to give the tempo a new one.

10. Daughter with a kidney

Lalu campaigned for his daughter Rohini Acharya, the RJD candidate contesting against BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Saran. In his typical style, Lalu reiterated that she is the 'kidney-giving daughter'. In a country where doctors are dismayed that married women are expected to save their kidneys only for the needs of marital family members, Rohini was Lalu's message.

11. ED

Leaders went to voters, ED went to leaders. Investigative agencies were the theme of election campaign. They were not bothered by it, they were attacking opposition leaders. The instinct of self-defense allegedly prompted many leaders to change.

12. What does M mean?

Modi, of course, was all about him in the election. But M also stands for Mamata and her Maa, Maati, Manush. Targeting opposition parties, the BJP went on mission mode, talking about mutton, madrassas, mafia, misrule and itself. M was for Muslim League as well as Maa Kali and Mahakaal.

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13. K has the key

Finally, the K factor rang louder. Both sides were fighting over the 'real' story of Kerala, sporadic fanning of Khalistan hysteria, Article 370 in Kashmir. Khandaan (lineage) mattered, as did earnings. Kharge's open letters to the PM pushed many buttons; Kejriwal never really stayed off the air. And Kashi, where the 'Kyoto waale' – an Indian nickname for Modi who has promised to build a temple city like the capital of old Japan – was the candidate.

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