BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s second “hunkar rally” was marked by the presence of leaders of two new entrants in the NDA, the LJP and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, but blighted by the absence of national vice-president C P Thakur, former ministers Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Giriraj Singh and Ramadhar Singh and cricketer-turned-MP Kirti Azad.
The five senior leaders, who have been championing the cause of Modi for the last several years, skipped the Muzaffarpur rally on Monday. Party sources said the leaders, all belonging to upper castes, were upset over the party’s alliance with the LJP and RLSP.
Addressing the rally, Modi said the next decade would belong to the socially-marginalised sections of society. Slamming Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for his “hypocrisy” Modi said, without naming him: “He used to meet and dine with me in a closed room but feared shaking hands in public. People would pardon your mistakes, but not hypocrisy.”
The Gujarat Chief Minister also tried to pick holes in Nitish’s good governance story by citing that only 23 percent households in the state had toilets and only 16 percent had electricity.
“There were eight lakh and 50,000 unemployed people in Bihar and the government could provide jobs only to 2,000 people in 2012,” he went on. “It becomes news in Bihar when people get electricity for some time.”
Ridiculing the recent move to forge a third front as an attempt to promote the Congress’ interest, he asked the gathering: “Did you hear about the third front a year or six months ago?”
Modi also targeted his other rivals: “Our priority is to find a solution to different problems of our country. Their priority is to find a solution to Modi.”
In his 40-minute speech, however, Modi didn’t criticise RJD supremo Lalu Prasad. Nor did he comment on the demand for granting “special status” to the state.