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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Modi launches Bihar campaign: I assure you that I am not going here or there again, says Nitish Kumar

As the shadow of the recent somersault of Nitish loomed large over the rally in the form of an invisible unease, Modi chose to dispel it while being welcomed with a huge garland of roses. He caught hold of Nitish’s arm and pulled him inside to send a message of unity and bonhomie to the people

Dev Raj Aurangabad, Begusarai Published 03.03.24, 06:17 AM
Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar at the Aurangabad rally on Saturday.

Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar at the Aurangabad rally on Saturday. Sanjay Choudhary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the Lok Sabha election campaign of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar with back-to-back public rallies at Aurangabad and Begusarai.

He promised development, attacked dynastic politics, showcased unity and camaraderie with chief minister Nitish Kumar and his “guarantee”.

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Nitish received Modi at the Gaya airport and the two leaders hopped to Aurangabad in a chopper to address the people — sharing the dais after over 18 months — the period during which Nitish had once more separated from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to join hands with the Mahagathbandhan and then return to the NDA fold a month ago.

As the shadow of the recent somersault of Nitish loomed large over the rally in the form of an invisible unease, Modi chose to dispel it while being welcomed with a huge garland of roses. He caught hold of Nitish’s arm and pulled him inside to send a message of unity and bonhomie to the people.

Nitish, too, did his best to remove the pall of his flip-flops, evoking much mirth among the leaders, including Modi and governor Rajendra Arlekar, and the audience alike. It left Modi in the splits.

“I welcome your visit today. I had disappeared in between, but I assure you that I am not going here or there again. I will always stay with you. Therefore, the work in the state should be done at a faster pace. I believe the Prime Minister will keep coming (to Bihar),” the chief minister said.

Nitish, who also happens to be Janata Dal United (JDU) national president, added that he had “full faith that (the NDA) will win at least 400 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. Those who are moving here and there will not achieve anything. We will give you (Modi) the credit for whatever development that happens here.”

Asserting that his aim was everybody’s progress and economic improvement, Nitish exhorted the people to stay peacefully, work together and not indulge in any dispute. He spoke on the same lines at Begusarai.

Leaders in the BJP and JDU termed these as attempts by Modi and Nitish to ensure that the change in the regime in Bihar, which happened just over a month ago, percolates well into the masses and turns into votes, instead of confusing the people.

Speaking on the occasion, Modi talked about the dozens of infrastructure projects that were being launched or inaugurated and pointed out that a river of development was going to flow in the state in the “double engine” regime.

Remembering the Ayodhya Ram Temple consecration ceremony, the Prime Minister said that he believed the people of Bihar would be the happiest because it was the land of Goddess Sita. He also thanked the gifts that were sent from the state to Ayodhya and switched into attack mode without taking the name of the opponents.

“Those harbouring the dreams of looting Bihar are afraid after seeing the enthusiasm of the people who have come in such large numbers here. The increase in the power of the NDA has relegated the forces of dynastic politics to the sidelines,” Modi said.

“The paradox is that they inherit the party and kursi (power) from their mother and father, but they do not dare to mention the work done in the governments of their mother and father,” Modi added.

It was clear that the Prime Minister was targeting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.

He went on to assert that he has heard that many senior leaders of such parties do not want to contest the Lok Sabha polls and are looking for Rajya Sabha seats because the public is not ready to support them.

Speaking in the same vein at Begusarai, Modi asserted that Bihar has experienced the harm of dynastic politics for decades. “Family-oriented politics and social justice are opposed to each other. True social justice comes from saturation and satisfaction, not from appeasement. Dynastic politics is an enemy of the talent of youths,” he said.

Hinting at the law and order-related issues during the RJD regime from 1990–2005, Modi said: “There was a time when people were afraid of venturing out of their homes. It was an era of disorder, insecurity and terror in which the youth had to migrate. Bihar’s development, peace, rule of law and rights for women are Modi’s guarantee.”

“Now is the time to develop the skills of youths. We are constructing a Rs 200 crore unity mall in Patna to promote handicraft skills. Bihar will progress only when its poor progress. This is the time in which the state is exploring tourism possibilities,” Modi added.

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stones and dedicated projects worth Rs 1.62 lakh crore across the country during the public rally at Begusarai.

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