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LS polls: Kasab, Gabbar, ghosts, funeral pots, fake ‘santaan’ — Maha campaign blitz had it all

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Mumbai, May 19 (IANS) The 2024 election campaign for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra – which concluded after two months on May 18 – was as colourful and funny as the occasional boisterous brawls erupting among the Gauls of Asterix’s ‘indomitable village’, but the bizarre political antics and allegations left the common man bewildered and speechless.Coming after five years, the poll campaign saw national and state leaders ranging from Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP to the Congress’ Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, NCP (SP)’s Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, NCP’s Ajit Pawar and many others, engaging in an all-out war of words.The state campaign witnessed the unexpected entry of characters like Gabbar Singh (of ‘Sholay’), terrorist Ajmal Kasab (hanged Nov. 2012), eerie ‘bhatakti atma’ (wandering soul), funeral pitchers (used for the dead), duplicate political parties and ‘nakli santaan’ (illicit progeny), plus Bollywood dialogues and more, that recoiled as well as regaled the audiences at big and small political rallies.PM Modi spooked the state’s political spectrum when he envisioned an unidentified ‘bhatakti atma’ running amok for 45 years and putting unholy obstacles in the way of Pune’s progress and prosperity.A confused and pale-faced ally Ajit Pawar wondered who – or what – the PM was actually referring to, as he had completed nearly 45 years in

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