PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the NDA’s election campaign for the forthcoming Bihar Assembly election from Muzaffarpur, making a frontal attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.
“If you hated me so much you could have come into my room and slapped me; or strangled me. But for that you derailed the development process of the entire state,” he said in an apparent reference to Nitish’s decision to part ways with the BJP following the NDA decision to anoint Narendra Modi as PM candidate.
“I was hurt when he withdrew his support. But when he repeated it to a Mahadalit like Jitan Manjhi, I came to the conclusion that there was something wrong with his political DNA,” Modi told the responsive crowd at Chakar Maidan of Muzaffarpur.
Further, the PM said, “When I was invited for dinner by the then Chief Minister, he took away my food. Lalu said he is having poison today but I had it that day.” And the incident that Modi referred to was the scheduled dinner for the BJP leaders, which was cancelled by Nitish on a flimsy pretext.
Taking a dig at the Bihar CM, the PM said that even though the latter always insisted on keeping him away from the poll campaign in Bihar, today Nitish tweeted, “We’re grateful that after 14 months Modiji finds time to visit Bihar.”
Mocking Nitish for the U-turn, Modi thanked the Bihar CM for according him a warm welcome,saying,”See how the times have changed.”
While addressing the rally, Modi didn’t spare Lalu either, giving a new name to his party. “RJD means Rozana Jungle Raj ka Darr.”( (fear of jungle raj everyday). “Would you like this party to come back?” he asked the gathering. Regarding Lalu’s statement of “drinking poison” by accepting Nitish as CM pick, he said the RJD chief may have his own personal reasons to accept him but there was no justification for forcing the people of Bihar to “drink poison”.
Pitching for cooperative federalism, the Prime Minister said that development of the states was indispensable for the progress of the country.
Modi said that Bihar would get Rs 3.75 lakh crore in the next five years(2015-20) on the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission. “The state got only 1.50 lakh crore in previous five-year period,” he added.
Referring to his promise during the Lok Sabha campaign, he said,” I do remember my promise of a special package of Rs 50,000 crore for Bihar but as Parliament session is going on will come to you with much bigger economic package for the state.”
The rally was attended by all the top BJP leaders from Bihar as well as leaders of allies-- Ram Vilas Paswan(Lok Janshakti Party) Upender Kushwaha(Rashtriya Lok Samta Party) and Jitan Ram Manjhi(HAM secular) Earlier on Saturday, Modi launched the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana. He also inaugurated the Daniawan-Bihar Sharif new railway line and flagged off the Rajgir-Bihar Sharif-Daniawan-Fatuha passenger train and Patna-Mumbai AC Suvidha Express.