RETURNING to Bihar for his second round of rallies on Wednesday, PM Narendra Modi spoke about the Ram temple, apart from the achievements of the Nitish Kumar government and RJD regime’s misrule. As the state completes the first leg of polls, the Modi government’s “achievements”, essentially Ayodhya, abrogation of Article 370, handling of Pakistan and China, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and allegations of “tukde-tukde gang”, are emerging as some of the main themes in speeches of the party, as it hopes to finish on a footing equal to, if not higher than, the JD(U).
Sharing the stage with Nitish in Darbhanga, a town believed to be linked to the kingdom of Mithila, Modi said, “ Today, Mother Sita must be looking at her place with love, her glance will definitely fall on Ayodhya too… The political people who used to ask us about the dates (of the temple)… they are also clapping in compulsion. Coming to Maa Sita’s area, I congratulatepeople here for construction of Ram temple.”
Referring to Nitish as the future CM, he credited him for Bihar’s economic turnaround. Modi, who addressed rallies at Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Patna, said people could “save Bihar from falling ill (Bimar), with one vote”, and warned against “jungle raj ke yuvraj” — in an apparent reference to Tejashwi Yadav.
“There is a danger in front of the human race, the coronavirus. The second danger is from forces that make Bihar ill,” Modi said in Patna.
Kicking off his campaign last week, the PM had contrasted the NDA’s work on a “naya Bihar” with the “misrule” of the 1990s, and went on to talk about Pulwama, Galwan and Article 370. “The country had been waiting for years to abrogate Article 370… Today, these people are talking about reversing this decision… They have the nerve to seek votes from the people of Bihar who send their sons and daughters on the border…” he said in Sasaram.
On October 15, addressing a rally in Karakat in Rohtas district, BJP president J P Nadda listed the Modi government’s achievements, including free rations to people during the pandemic, before moving to Article 370 and Ram temple.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath, who has addressed several rallies, spoke about Article 370. In a speech at Jamui, he said, “When Article 370 was abrogated in Kashmir, who was hurt the most? Rahul Gandhi or Asaduddin Owaisi… People of Jamui can now buy land in Kashmir.”
Another BJP leader fronting the party campaign, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, underlined the importance of the tie-up with JD(U). “In Bihar, the BJP-JDU alliance is like the opening jodi of Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Virender) Sehwag,” he said at a rally.
Union MoS for Finance Anurag Thakur, who was served a notice by the Election Commission during the Delhi polls for egging on a crowd against “desh ke gaddar (traitors of the country)”, said during his appearance in Bihar: “I want to ask RJD and its leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav why did he align with the CPI (M-L), tukde-tukde gangs, or those who believe in perpetrating massacres?”
Kapil Mishra, accused of making hate speeches ahead of the Delhi riots, said, “The CPI-M-L, Naxalites, those who wants to divide the country, will not be allowed to thrive in Bihar… They come so innocently and ask for votes, but if you vote for them by mistake… within 15 days… Delhi paid the price.”
Among those who campaigned for the BJP is its controversial MP and youth wing head Tejasvi Surya, who said the RJD couldn’t talk for jobs with its previous regime marked by “scandals”.
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