There were echoes of the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, with members from the state raising local issues as matters of urgent public importance.
While former Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) took the time to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, some MPs from NDA allies pressed for the need for more development work, especially specific roads.
Rudy expressed confidence that the ruling alliance would be victorious in the Bihar elections and said this is due to the work of Modi and Nitish. Over the last few years, he said, the number of bridges over the Ganga have gone up, and a metro railway system for Patna is now in the works.
Sushil Kumar Singh, BJP MP from Aurangabad in the state, demanded four-laning of National Highway-139. He said the highway, which connects Bihar to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, takes heavy traffic and heavy vehicles, and is in desperate need of an upgrade.
“I have been raising this many times but the state government says they decide it based on a survey of vehicular traffic. But that survey is of 2011, when the two-lane road wasn’t built, and therefore the traffic volume was lower,” he said.
Veena Devi, LJP MP from Vaishali, raised the issue of flood in Bihar, and her district in particular. She said the flood left people in distress, and a majority of roads in her area broken. “The state government is doing what it can, but this situation needs help from the Centre,” she said.
Ram Kripal Yadav, BJP MP from Patliputra, said that despite repeated requests, “four to five” approach roads have been shut off by Danapur Cantonment. “This is affecting thousands of people and causing immense trouble,” he said. Yadav said it had been agreed that these roads will be opened, but their continued closure meant that people of his constituency have to travel an extra 10 km every day.
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