In a Bihar election already full of storylines and drama, Union Minister Anurag Thakur borrowed from Gabbar Singh – the iconic villain from the 1975 blockbuster “Sholay” – on Tuesday to warn “a return to a regime of terror and fear” if people vote for an opposition alliance.
Thakur, who made headlines in February for allegedly making hate speech before the Delhi violence, urged Bihar voters to be wary of “those who believe in massacres” and want to push the country back into an era of caste tension and social discrimination. .
“So please go to Gabbar Singh aa Jayega (go to sleep, my son, or Gabbar Singh will come). Mothers who have seen jungle raj days in Bihar please tell your children, especially young people, to vote carefully on voting day … otherwise they (opposition RJD), who run the terror regime and fear, can return to power, “Mr Thakur was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency.
In the film Gabbar Singh (played by Amjad Khan) voices this dialogue as a cautionary tale for those who dare to oppose it. The full line reads: “Yahan se pachas pachas kos door gaon mein jab bachcha raat ko rota hi, anyway maa ha hi hai so ja … so jaa nahi anyway Gabbar Singh aa jayega“.
Roughly translated, he said: “Around, for 50 km, when a child was crying in the village, his mother said, ‘go to sleep, my son, or Gabbar Singh will come'”.
Mr Thakur today slammed the opposition mahagathbandhan (the grand alliance), describes them as “depressed and confused” and points to violent caste-based clashes and killings in 2005, the year RJD slipped from power after cracking rulings in the first round of elections.
“I just want to ask RJD and its leader, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, why is he equal to the CPI (ML), tukde-tukde gangs, or those who believe in massacres? “asked the Minister of the States.
RJD is the main contender for the ruling JDU-BJP in these elections, albeit with Lalu Yadav’s son, Tejashwi Yadav, as chairman of an alliance that includes Congress and the Left party.
The last two parties have frequently been dismissed as part of “tukde-tukde gangs “- the term used by right-wing parties to attack Left-backed groups and their supporters.
“Do they want to bring raj forest days ago in Bihar. Do they want the country to see bloodshed once again? “Asked Thakur, urging the people to vote for the BJP-led NDA government.
The crime rate has become a major issue as Tejashwi Yadav and Chirag Paswan of the LJP – who yesterday said “prison is the right place” for the Chief Minister – have attacked Nitish Kumar on this.
Today’s promotion by Mr Thakur also includes references to the BJP’s “dual engine” model – one in which the same party rules at the center and the states – and which Mr Yadav has discarded, pointing to large-scale unemployment as one of his criticisms.
He points to the increase in per capita income over the past 15 years as evidence of that development. He claims that Bihar’s per capita income has increased from Rs 8,000 in 2005 to Rs 43,000 in 2020, although this is still far from the national average.
Bihar votes in three stages starting Wednesday, with the result on November 10.
With input from PTI