PATNA: Addressing the last in the BJP’s series of pre-election ‘Parivartan’ rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Bihar had decided that the upcoming Assembly polls would be fought on the issue of development.
“After 25 years, the people of Bihar have decided to vote on the issue of development, and nobody can prevent the victory of the NDA in the election,” he said at the rally in Bhagalpur.
“Initially they ridiculed the Rs 1.25-lakh-crore special package but soon realised that it might prove counterproductive and announced their own development package of Rs 2.7 lakh crore. At last, development became a core issue ahead of the polls,” he told a huge crowd.
Dissecting the Bihar Chief Minister’s counter-package, he said: “The development package of Rs 2.7 lakh crore is merely the sum total of the development budget of Rs 50-55,000 crore per annum for the next five years.”
“On the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, Bihar will get Rs 3.76 lakh crore from the Centre in the next five years. But he is promising a package of Rs 2.7 lakh crore only. So where will the remaining Rs 1.6 lakh crore go? Will it go the fodder scam way?” he said, making an obvious reference to the fodder scam case against RJD chief Lalu Prasad. “Is this election not to the Bihar Assembly? Should those who have ruled the state for 25 years not be made accountable for their performance?”
“I understand it when my supporters chant ‘Modi-Modi’ at rallies and programmes, but I was surprised to see my political rivals chanting the same recently in their Patna rally,” Modi said, mocking the leaders of the JD(U)-led grand alliance.
“The so-called disciples of Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan and Karpuri Thakur were actually performing ‘Tilanjali’ (last rites) of these three great leaders by joining hands with the Congress, the party that had put JP in jail.”
Making amends for his DNA jibe about Nitish, Modi praised the people of the state, saying the “most intelligent people live in Bihar”.
Modi tried to corner Nitish also on the issue of governance by referring to Bihar’s “poor” health scenario. He said the state government had failed to utilise the Rs 521 crore allotted by the Centre.