Ranchi/Hazaribagh/Bok-aro, April 11: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar branded Narendra Modi a “hawa-hawai neta” busy building castles in the air, and accused the BJP of using money and muscle power to win the elections.
In Jharkhand for the first time during Campaign 2014, the JD(U) chief criticised the BJP prime ministerial nominee’s advocacy of his “Gujarat model of governance” by saying that any effort to implement it pan India would undermine the secular fabric of the country.
Nitish addressed two rallies in the state, the first one at noon at Ramgarh, a part of Hazaribagh constituency, and the other about 45 minutes later at Bermo in Bokaro, which is a part of Giridih Lok Sabha seat.
At Ramgarh’s Football Ground, the JD(U) chief addressed a gathering of over 5,000 people, urging them to back the Third Front, whose CPI nominee Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Mahto, the JD(U) is supporting.
In Gujarat, he claimed, 42 per cent of the people in rural areas and 26 per cent in urban localities did not get drinking water. And, for 1,500 low-grade jobs with a monthly honorarium of Rs 5,300, there were as many as 15 lakh applicants.
“Ab aap mujhe bataye kahan huwa hai vikas (Now, you tell me, where is the development),” he asked.
“Apke yahan se kaccha maal dusre rajyo mein ja raha hai par vikas mein aap piche rah gaye (Raw materials are being siphoned off from your land, while you remain backward).”
In Bermo, where Nitish was campaigning for the party’s Giridih Lok Sabha candidate, Jaleshwar Mahto, he addressed 1,200 supporters at Sunday Bazar.
Raking up the Gujarat riots to counter Modi’s development agenda, he said, “He (Modi) always claims that the Gujarat model is the best and will be implemented across the country once the BJP comes to power. The country has already seen how he handled the situation during the 2002 riots. Minorities have been living in fear since the day his name was announced as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate,” he claimed.
JD(U) has fielded five candidates in the 14 Lok Sabha seats of Jharkhand, but local leaders admitted that none among Mahesh Singh Yadav (Chatra), Krishna Singh (Koderma), Jorawar Ram (Palamau) and Rajvardhan Azad from Godda and Jaleshwar (Giridih) was in any position to win.
The party had pinned hopes on former state minister and Tamar MLA Raja Peter to revive its fortunes. But, he seems to have given up, fed up with too much factionalism, and is likely to resign soon.
But that did not deter Nitish’s resolve to slam Modi and the BJP today.
He alleged that the BJP did not have a clear policy and shied away every time such questions were raised. “I have openly asked Modi to accept my challenge for a debate on broader issues, but he is scared. He does not have a vision and thus never speaks on vital issues being faced by the country,” he claimed.
Criticising the BJP for using money and muscle power, the JD(U) leader said, “I have never seen so much money being spent on one person. The party is splurging crores and crores of rupees on Modi rallies.”
Senior leaders, who had established and built the BJP, were aware of it but keeping mum as their position in the party had weakened, he claimed.
On the lack of development in Jharkhand, Nitish said after the formation of the state, every party, from the BJP and the Congress to the JMM, had ruled the young state. However, nothing changed.
“When Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, residents of this new-born state with huge mineral reserves envisaged a golden period ahead. But see where Jharkhand stands today in comparison to Bihar. Other parties have got their chance, and now JD(U) should get an opportunity to rule the state. We promise good governance will come here too,” he signed off.
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