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SCAM, RSVP: Narendra Modi’s wordplay with acronyms continues

One of the more curious highlights of election campaigns by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his penchant for coining acronyms to promote his schemes and to attack his opponents.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi |
February 6, 2017 7:20:05 pm
goa polls, narendra modi, goa elections, goa assembly elections 2017, modi rally, bjp rally, modi in panaji, modi in panjim, latest news, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Goa

One of the more curious highlights of election campaigns by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his penchant for coining acronyms to promote his schemes and to attack his opponents. His election campaign in 2014 itself was laden with acronyms like ABCD. Some were used deliberately to debilitate opponents publicly, even succeeding at times. But, he was met with sharp reactions as well at times. Here is a pick of the over 30 acronyms he coined over the past  three years.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi came up with S.C.A.M.–to humour people in his election rally in Uttar Pradesh. According to PM Modi, SCAM stands for Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.

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In one of the rare occasions, Congress vice-president countered PM Modi; on this occasion he came up with his own definition of SCAM. After Samajwadi Party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had taken potshots at PM Modi on demonetisation at a joint election rally with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, the latter spelled out his version. “S–’seva’ or service for the poor; C–courage to speak the truth; A–ability to deliver on promises; and M–Modesty. PM Modi will not understand this,” Rahul said.

Kanpur: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wave to the crowd at a public rally in Kanpur on Sunday. PTI Photo(PTI2_5_2017_000214B) Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav


In April 2014, Modi coined ABCD. At a rally in Jaipur, he accused Congress of being involved in scams, and spelled out alphabetically–”A for Adarsh Ghotala, B for Bofors Ghotala, C for Coal ghotala, D for Damad ka ghotala (corruption)… this is the new A B C D… which the Congress adopted to introduce a new book of alphabets for children.”

Congress veteran Jairam Ramesh compared Modi to English cricketer Douglas Robert Jardine who was notorious for employing the physically dangerous and mentally intimidating bodyline tactics–targeting the body to hurt or intimidate. The style was termed unsportsmanlike and Ramesh likened Modi’s tactics as a competition in which he isn’t playing but acting as the intimidator.

Party spokesperson responded saying the alphabetical primer BJP follows “starts with F that stands for Fake Encounter and ends with G which stands for Genocide”.


This one was a yo-yo-esque altercation back in 2014. Congress party questioned PM Modi’s ‘Gujarat model of development’ and Modi retaliated with a RSVP jibe–Rahul, Sonia, (Robert) Vadra and Priyanka. He returned Congress’ attack saying Congress should explain its RSVP model of governance, hinting that the Gandhi-Vadra family were pulling the strings in government to their whims and fancies.

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He also coined some acronyms for the sake of leaving an impact on the minds of people, changing definitions or names which many argued were not needed.


He gave a different definition to the National Democratic Alliance. In his own words, NDA stood for National Development alliance drawing highlight again on his clever wordplay and the shrewdness to inject in people’s minds.

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3 AKs–AK 47, AK Antony and AK-49 (Arvind Kejriwal)

Modi also took a dig at Congress as well as Arvind Kejriwal claiming 3 AKs are popular in Pakistan and are enough to destabilise the country. AK-47 rifle that is popular among terrorists and militants, Congress leader and former Defence Minister AK Antony who he alleged came to the rescue of Pakistani soldiers who had infiltrated into India by saying the Indian Army encountered individuals wearing Pakistani Army uniforms. Thirdly, he took a dig at Arvind Kejriwal, who fought against Modi in Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi.

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

PM modi restructured Planning commission from its socialist principled form to a modern think tank focused on modern policy reform rather than the earlier followed five-year plan model. The name sounds clever when used in an acronym as well — NITI which means policy.

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