Wrapping up his Bihar campaign with a frontal assault on the rival Grand Alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred Monday to the “Darbhanga module” and asked voters if they want “a government in Patna that protects terrorists” and “those exploding bombs”.
Addressing a huge rally at the Raj Maidan in Darbhanga, Modi accused the government of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of “sheltering terrorists”.
“After the blasts in Pune and Mumbai, one term that was coined and widely used was the Darbhanga (terror) module. Some people are out to spread terror in India. A Dalit police officer was investigating the Darbhanga module and tried to establish terror links. The leaders of the Grand Alliance did not like it and the woman police officer was forced to leave Bihar. These people are protecting terrorists. Do you want a government in Patna that protects terrorists? Does the land of Bihar need those exploding bombs?”
Through the campaign, Modi repeatedly alleged that the rival alliance was out to “snatch” 5 per cent share in reservation for Dalits, tribals and backwards and give it to a “particular community”. Darbhanga is in Mithilanchal, a region with a sizeable population of upper caste Brahmins who are key to the BJP votebank. The region is also home to a large number of Muslims.
Underlining that “this is my last rally speech”, he said he had stuck to the development plank but RJD leader Lalu Prasad had given it a “caste colour”.
“Abhi to mein unhe ek chhoti si sui lagai aur saari pol khol kar rakh di. Daliton ka aarakshan kaise kam kiya ja sakta hai, pichchdon ka kam kaise? Laluji aur Nitishji ne ek manch se 2005 me sampraday ke aadhar par aarakshan dene ki baat kahi thi. Ek saptah se aarakshan par kuchh nahin bol rahe hain. Batao kaun desh ko dhoka de raha hai. Unhe pata nahi hai yeh Modi hai, Modi. Jhooth nahin chalega (With one little injection, I have exposed them. How can they reduce the reservation for Dalits and backwards? Lalu and Nitish shared a platform in 2005 and backed reservation on the basis of community. Why have they been silent on reservation for a week now? Who is fooling the country? They do not know, this is Modi. Lies won’t work).”
Taking a dig at Lalu Prasad, Modi joked that an RJD leader asked Lalu why his son shouldn’t be made CM instead of Nitish. “Lalu Prasad was salivating at such a prospect. But when another leader asked if he would concede the Leader of Opposition status to Nitish if they lose, Lalu said he had not made any such commitment to Nitish,” he said, adding that when Lalu, Nitish and Rahul Gandhi cannot share an election dais, “there is little chance of their sticking together” after the polls.
He also took a swipe at “political pundits and courtiers in Delhi”.
“Political pundits are trying to decipher caste calculations, the importance of leaders on voting patterns. But they will do well to remember that the Bihar election will explode all such myths and force political parties to contest elections only on the development plank,” he told the crowd, reaching out to the youth by saying “paani aur jawani” (water and youth) count in Bihar.
He invoked former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying he had visited Mithilanchal to connect with people and seek their blessings.
“I started with the development plank and expected opponents to give an account of their work in the last 60 years. Lalu and Nitish did not account for even 25 years of their rule. I have not even completed 25 months. Let them first give an account of 25 years, then they should ask me to account for my work,” Modi said.
“If criticising Modi does any good for Bihar, Modi is ready for it. If my life is of some use to Bihar, I cannot ask for more,” he signed off.