NEW DELHI: As the BJP is gearing up for Bihar elections, senior party leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday attacked ‘Lohiates’ — Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad — for siding with the Congress.
After Nitish joined hands with the Congress, the saffron party had claimed legacy of socialists Ram Manohar Lohia and Jai Prakash Narayan. The party is now trying to push more youth leaders into the state for campaigning as the election scene heats up. Speaking at a meeting of the BJP’s youth wing, Jaitley gave a political message to the cadre. “Those, who play politics in the name of Lohia, are now visiting AICC for press conferences every day. The legacy of Dr Lohia has been destroyed by these people,” he said. Union ministers Mahesh Sharma, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Sarbananda Sonowal were also present. Jaitley targeted BJP’s former ally Nitish Kumar for daring the PM to debate on the issue of development in Bihar. He quoted the World Bank report to point out that Bihar stood at 21st position, while Gujarat was at number one. “Nitishji says let us debate the development issue. What is there to debate? This debate is over. Gujarat is number 1 and Bihar stands at 21. The economy speaks through statistics and not through debate,” he said, adding that JD(U) and RJD had been in power for 25 years.
As Modi is the face of the BJP’s poll campaign, the party said the response on the ground after the PM’s rallies was a reflection of the mood during the 2014 elections. “There is an arithmetic in every election. The 2014 polls was not about arithmetic... it was about the change in chemistry. The youth led in this changed chemistry,” Jaitley said.