In the run-up to the Bihar Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to play the development card during his July 25 visit to the state.
During his visit, the PM is scheduled to attend the foundation day function of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), being held outside New Delhi for the first time, open a new IIT campus at Bihta and lay the foundation of Haldi-Jagdishpur gas pipeline project in Patna. He will also address a public rally at Muzaffarpur, where a mega development package for Bihar is likely to be announced. This will be Modi’s first visit to Bihar after becoming PM.
The PM’s visit is being billed as NDA’s counter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s high pitched poster campaign projecting him as the state’s pro-development face.
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said: “The PM will attend 87th foundation day function of ICAR in Patna and distribute 82 prizes in various categories named after personalities such as Jawahar Lal Nehru, Jagjivan Ram and Choudhary Devi Lal among others. The PM will also release ICAR’s Vision 2050 in presence of agricultural scientists.”
Nitish Kumar will share dais with Modi at the opening of the IIT campus at Bihta. This will be the first time that Nitish would be sharing stage with Narendra Modi in his capacity as PM. Nitish on Tuesday said the PM will be “extended a warm welcome in Bihar as the state is known for its hospitality”.
To project himself as a leader aggressively pursuing the development agenda, Nitish on Tuesday opened the state’s longest road over-bridge on Patna’s Bailey Road. Nitish also promised to release his government’s report card on July 27.
To balance the development agenda with caste arithmetic, Nitish Kumar’s alliance partner, RJD, plans to hold a public meeting at Minapur, Muzaffarpur on July 23. Coming two days ahead of the PM’s visit, this is being seen as a bid to mount pressure on Modi government to release the caste census report.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said the PM was “keen on opening the long-pending Ganga rail and road bridge at Digha, but the state government could not construct the approach road in time for his visit.