| Nitish Kumar welcomes BJP MLA Awanish Kumar Singh in East Champaran on Thursday. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
March 6: Nitish Kumar today officially announced the names of JD(U) candidates for four Lok Sabha seats during his Sankalp Rally meetings at Sangrampur in East Champaran and Gopalganj.
He named disgruntled BJP legislator, Avanish Kumar Singh, film director Prakash Jha and the JD(U) sitting MP Vaidyanath Prasad Mahto as the party’s candidates from East Champaran, West Champaran and Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seats during his Sankalp Yatra at Sangrampur. Singh, the five-time MLA from Chiraiya, bade adieu to the BJP and took the membership of the JD(U) in Nitish’s presence at a function on a high school premises.
In Gopalganj, Nitish announced Anil Kumar alias Sheru as the party’s candidate. Gopalganj — the home seat of RJD chief Lalu Prasad — has gone in the Congress’s kitty after the two parties and the NCP forged an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls.
Nitish did not deviate from the goal of his Sankalp Rally — the demand for special status to the state — while announcing the names of the party’s candidates for the four Lok Sabha seats. At Sangrampur, he claimed that every state had the right to progress and despite sizeable progress in every sphere at its own cost, the position of Bihar was much below the national average. The pace of development can be accelerated only through special status for the state, the chief minister said.
Nitish stressed that the special status was essential for a state like Bihar where 76 per cent population depends on agriculture. He claimed that the funds that Bihar would get if accorded the special status would help in opening avenues of development and executing the agriculture roadmap.
Without taking the name of his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, Nitish referred to his subtle remarks on electricity during his recent visit to Muzaffarpur. Nitish said: “Neta ji (the leaders) should know that production of power in the state was zero when I took charge. At present, we generate 2,300MW for the people of Bihar.”
He also urged people not to be misled by the rumourmongers.
Ministers Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha and Vijay Kumar Choudhary also spoke at the meeting.