| (From left) BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi, Arun Jaitley and Mangal Pandey at the seminar in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Feb. 8: Senior BJP leaders assembled at an event today to despatch iron and soil samples gathered from across the state to build the Statue of Unity in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley chose the occasion to attack chief minister Nitish Kumar without naming him. He said the results of the Lok Sabha elections would make him repent on the decision of breaking the alliance with the BJP. He also termed Nitish’s initiative of forming a separate block in Parliament as losers’ front.
“Ever since the party has announced the name of prime ministerial candidate, opponents are trying their best to stop him. But when the Lok Sabha results come out, he would repent what made him to break the alliance. JD(U) support has shrunk in the state,” said Jaitley.
He added: “There is new talk of a Third Front, I prefer calling it a losers’ front. Parties, which failed in their respective regions, are trying to form this front. It is a failed idea, which will not succeed. The results of the Lok Sabha elections would be unprecedented. I must say that there would only be one party which would have MPs in three figures.”
Jaitley added that the JD(U) walking out on the BJP alliance had come as a blessing so that the party, which used to contest on 15 seats, would now contest on all 40 seats. He equally attacked the Congress, particularly party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
“The Congress does not have any leadership and the new leadership will not lead anywhere,” Jaitley said.
The iron collection campaign was launched in December 15 last year for the construction of the Statue of Unity.
BJP general secretary and Bihar affairs in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan also urged workers to vote for Narendra Modi in the LS elections.
Leader of Opposition in Bihar Legislative Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav accused Nitish of breaking the 17-year-old alliance and called him betrayer. “After breaking the alliance with the BJP, he tried to go closer to the Congress and even went to drop a Congress minister (read P. Chidambaram) to Sadaquat Ashram in his car. But how can a person, who broke off from a 17-year-old partner, command the trust of other parties? Another person (read Lalu Prasad) cannot even contest elections. Despite that he is carrying the bag of Rahul Gandhi and shouting slogans in his support,” said Nand Kishore.
He did not miss the opportunity to raise the issue of Nitish’s minister Shahid Ali Khan’s alleged links with operatives of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM).
Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the people of the state are beaten in Congress-ruled states whereas they feel safe in BJP ruled states.
Former minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey dared to resign from the Assembly if Nitish’s party wins even a single Lok Sabha seat.
Other BJP leaders present included deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Rajya Sabha member C.P. Thakur and state unit president Mangal Pandey.