On his maiden visit to Bihar after assuming power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said politics had hampered the development of the state and promised to give more than Rs 50,000 crore special package to the poll-bound state at the right time.
Modi, who was in the state to kick-start his party’s poll campaign for Bihar where assembly elections are due later this, inaugurated several projects at a function attended by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and several Union Ministers. Referring to Chief Minister’s statement that the 38 km railway line from Daniyawan-Biharsharif could have been completed had polls in 2004 not taken place six months ahead of the tenure of the NDA government ended, he said, “I agree with Nitishji that politics had hindered development creating great loss.”
Taking a jibe at former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, Modi said, “After the change in the government, the railway ministers that came from here halted the work and after we came to power we have again started the work. Let those who wants to do politics do it. But the people of Bihar have been hit because of it.” Recalling his promise of giving a special package of Rs 50,000 crore to Bihar during the campaign for Parliamentary election, he said he would fulfil the promise at the right time.
“Meine jo Bihar ke janata se vada kiya tha usse age bad ke nibhayun ga sahi samay par (I’ll deliver more than I had promised to people of Bihar at the right time),” he said. “Looking at our dreams for a prosperous Bihar, we will give a bigger package than Rs 50,000 crore. This is my promise. The country will progress if the eastern part of the nation progress. The development of Bihar is our prime agenda, development of eastern India is our mission,” he said.
Emphasising on “cooperative federalism, the Prime Minister said development of the states was necessary for the progress of the country. The Prime Minister said that development was a remedy to all the ills like illiteracy, unemployment and health problems plaguing the society. He said it was heartening to see that states were now competing with one another in terms of development.
“Days of chalking out development plans sitting in Delhi are over. Priority of my government is to devise plans suited to development of states,” he said. The prime minister said till all the eastern states like Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam and north eastern states were developed, the country would not achieve the desired growth.
The Prime Minister differed with the Chief Minister’s view that Bihar has suffered losses due to the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. Modi said after increasing 10 per cent in central tax devolution to the states as per recommendations of 14th Finance Commission, Bihar would get Rs 3.75 lakh crore in five years between 2015-20 which could have been Rs 1.50 lakh crore as per the previous devolution formula.
Earlier the Chief Minister in his speech welcomed the PM to Bihar and addressed state BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi as his “old friend” and Nand Kishore Yadav as “most favourite old friend” and actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha as “Bihari Babu.” Kumar took the opportunity to highlight the state’s contribution to the projects inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
Bihar government provided 500 acres of land for new campus of IIT at Bihta. The state paid Rs 300 crore for starting two units of 250 MW each of power projects at Barauni, Kumar said. The CM and PM were seen talking to each others on the dais and the PM applauded Kumar’s speech.Kumar was also seen speaking with LJP President and Union minister Ramvilas Paswan.
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. Apart from it, he also dedicated the IIT Campus at Patna and laid the foundation stone for Incubation Centre for Medical Electronics.
He said the IIT should cater to state’s development needs. Modi also expressed hope that the Incubation Centre would help manufacture medical devices in India to make them easily accessible for all. Speaking of bringing “Urja Ganga” (river of energy), he inaugurated the first phase of the Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline project. The Prime Minister said the gas pipeline and rail projects would provide development and improve the quality of life of the people in the State.