| Chief minister Nitish Kumar addresses Sankalp Rally at Mohania in Kaimur district on Saturday. Telegraph picture |
Patna, Jan. 25: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today amplified his attack on both BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the Congress, indicating that his party would have no truck with Sonia Gandhi’s party.
“Whatever happened in Gujarat in 2002 can never be forgotten. There can never be a pardon for it. Justice continues to elude the people of Gujarat. Gujarat denizens did not get protection,” Nitish said. He also said: “Anti-Congress atmosphere is gaining ground across the country. People are crushed under the twin curses of corruption and price rise. The anti-Congress political parties have organised successful Bharat bandhs on the issue of corruption and price rise twice.”
The chief minister was addressing the JD(U)’s Sankalp Rally at Mohania in central Bihar’s Kaimur district, bordering Uttar Pradesh.
The Sankalp Yatra that Nitish launched in an East Champaran village last November, as part of his party’s campaign for the 2014 general elections, was a low-key affair.
But the rally at Mohania today was, by all accounts, an impressive and successful one. At least 40,000 people drawn from almost all caste groups, besides women and Muslims, attended it.
Inspired by the substantial and responsive gathering, Nitish made an impassioned plea to the electorate to ensure the JD(U)’s victory in all the four Lok Sabha seats in the old Sahabad region.
The four seats he talked about include Buxar, Ara, Karakat and Sasaram. Incidentally, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar represents Sasaram.
Getting back to his old plank of special category status for Bihar, Nitish pulled up the Congress for putting the “rightful” demand in cold storage under pressure from Lalu Prasad’s RJD. He did not name Lalu or the party, though.
He said: “The Congress-led Centre turned cold to the demand despite Raghuram Rajan giving a favourable report on the issue under pressure from someone (read Lalu) who gets upset at the very word of development.”
Nitish also blamed the BJP for diluting the atmosphere that was building up against the Congress.
“Had the BJP shown the character of the largest party in the alliance (NDA) it would have organised other parties for the common goal of obliterating the Congress that had become discredited. But the party fell to the greed (of having its prime ministerial candidate, though unacceptable to others), puncturing the overall sentiments of anti-Congressism gaining ground across the country”.
Nitish dwelt at length on how “communal forces” (read BJP) were trying to endanger the atmosphere of bonhomie and brotherhood in the state. He asked his cadre and people at large to put their lives on the line to maintain communal and social harmony.
Taking a potshot at his predecessor, Lalu Prasad, Nitish recalled that anarchy and lawlessness ruled the roost prior to his rule.
“There was an atmosphere where people were afraid to walk on the streets after sunset. There was an atmosphere of fear all around. The situation has changed for the better. The state is progressing. Girls are riding bicycles to reach schools,” he said.
The national party president, Sharad Yadav, and state party chief Basishtha Narayan Singh were among the others who addressed the rally at Mohania.