Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dubbed the alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh as ‘saraab’, saying it is harmful for one’s health and the state.Also Read - Stop Flights From Regions Witnessing New Omicron Variant: Kejriwal Urges PM Modi

The Congress and the Samajwadi Party promptly slammed the Prime Minister for likening the opposition parties with liquor. ‘Saraab’ in Urdu means mirage or illusion while a similar sounding ‘sharaab’ in Hindi stands for alcohol. Also Read - Planning Lockdown, Urging Flight Ban And Scaling up Testing: How Are Indian States Preparing to Combat Omicron 

“Sapa (SP) ka ‘sa’, Ralod (RLD) ka ‘raa’ aur Baspa (BSP) ka ‘ba’, matlab ‘saraab’. SP, RLD, BSP, ye saraab aapko barbaad kar degi,” Modi told a Lok Sabha election rally here in Hindi. Also Read - #UPSCExtraAttempt: Why Are Civil Service Aspirants Demanding Another Chance?

He said “saraab” was harmful for one’s health and also unhealthy for the health of Uttar Pradesh and the country.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said despite being in power for five years, Modi was again providing illusions to the electorate.

“Today the tele-prompter has revealed that the people who encourage the intoxication of hatred do not know the difference between ‘saraab’ and ‘sharaab’,” Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.

“Now, when new elections are approaching, they are showing new illusions,” he said.

The Congress was more scathing: “Does this kind of talk befit a Prime Minister? You are calling three political parties sharaab? Is this the way a Prime Minister talks? Can people accept this,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in New Delhi.

“Take back your words and apologize to the 130 crore people or else the country and Uttar Pradesh will never forgive you.”