New Delhi: Too many cooks spoiled the…biryani?
The national capital witnessed a fierce battle with the sitting Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at heads with each other in what appears to be one of the most communally divisive poll campaigns.
However, amid poha references and chants of ‘bullet to traitors’, the royal dish – biryani – has peaked in flavour on the Delhi poll campaign menu.
It all started with the BJP campaigners making tall claims that the AAP and Congress had “sponsored” the Shaheen Bagh protest against Centre’s Citizenship Amendment Act that has been going on for over a month.
It was BJP’s firebrand and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who first called out Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “sponsoring” and “offering biryani” to protestors at Shaheen Bagh. Subsequently, BJP’s social media head Amit Malviya went on to tweet a “proof” that biryani was actually being served at the South Delhi protest location.
Adityanath had received a notice from the Election Commission for the same and was even barred from the BJP’s star campaigners list.
The remark was also referred to by Karnataka Minister CT Ravi who backed Union Minister Anurag Thakur for his ‘goli maaro‘ comment in a tweet where he said, “Anti-Nationals should get Bullet not Biryani”.
An extremely popular dish across the country, ‘biryani’ has often been used as a dog-whistle to link it to the Muslim community.
The most recent BJP leader reinstating the biryani remark was Parvesh Verma who, suitably, drew a link between OSD GK Madhav’s arrest and Shaheen Bagh protests in Delhi against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act.
“OSD to naam ka hai (OSD is just for the name)… This money goes into our Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s pocket, who spends it on biryani for people at Shaheen Bagh,” claimed Verma, as quoted by news agency ANI. However, he received a legal notice from Sisodia within few hours.
GK Madhav, who was posted as OSD in Sisodia’s office in 2015, was arrested for his involvement in a late-night operation allegedly receiving bribe through middleman Dheeraj Gupta, nabbed on February 5, from transporters on his behalf.
The poll opinions had, at the start of campaigning, suggested that the AAP was much ahead of the BJP in projected results. As a result, the BJP began its high-pitched campaign targetted at polarising the campaign to overturn the election game.
While the AAP is trying to save their seat for a third term, the rival BJP has been raking up their campaign by throwing everything they can on the wall including religious tactics to garner voter confidence, especially from their Hindu supporters.
Campaigning ended on Thursday and the vote counting will take place February 11.