In a high-voltage BJP campaign five days ahead of the first phase of polling in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (October 23) declared that the NDA is returning to power and slammed the Opposition for their condemnation of farm laws, saying it was an “excuse” to save middlemen.
“Even before the polls, people of Bihar gave their message – all surveys show NDA govt will retain power in the state,” Modi said, kicking off his 12-rally campaign from Sasaram, a constituency of Dalit leader late Jagjivan Ram, and now represented by Chhedi Paswan of BJP.
The PM was accompanied by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal, among others. Modi will also address two more rallies in Gaya and Bhagalpur.
In his first rally in the state, Modi hit out at opposition parties for on farm laws, saying their protests were an excuse to protect middlemen. “Mandi and MSP are excuses… the Opposition wants to save the brokers and middlemen,” he said.
Raising the development pitch, he said the people have decided that they would not “let those who have a history of making the state ‘Bimaru’ come near them”. The acronym ‘Bimaru’ stood for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – the states projected as backward on many economic and social parameters by demographer Ashish Bose in the early 1980s.
“The people who once ruled Bihar are again looking at the state with their greedy eyes. But, Bihar must not forget who pushed them backward, that was the time when there was worsening law & order situation and corruption in the state,” said Modi in a clear reference to the RJD, the spearhead of the main opposition Grand Alliance.
The PM also lashed out at those opposing abrogation of Art 370 in J&K and said it was an “insult to Bihar whose sons and daughters guard our borders”.
“The NDA government at the Centre abrogated Article 370. These people say they will bring it back if they come to power. Then they dare to ask for votes from Bihar. Is this not an insult of Bihar — the state which sends its sons and daughters to the borders to protect the country?” Modi questioned.
“Sons of Bihar lost their lives in Galwan Valley for the Tricolour and ensured Bharat Mata’s head is held high. Jawans of Bihar were also martyred in Pulwama attack. I bow to them and pay my respects,” said Modi.
The PM also paid his tributes to LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, also a Central leader, who died recently. “Bihar lost its two sons recently. I pay my respects to Ram Vilas Paswan Ji, who was with me till his last breath and gave his entire life for the welfare of the poor and Dalits. Similarly, Babu Raghuvansh Prasad Singh ji also worked for the poor. I pay respects to him.
Bihar is going to see mega campaigning beginning Friday (October 23). Rahul Gandhi is also slated to address two rallies — at Hisua in Nawada and Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district.
RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, the chief ministerial face of the Mahagathbandhan, is likely to join Gandhi at Hisua.
The three-phase Bihar polls are due on October 28, November 3 and 7. The results will be declared on November 10.