Updated: October 10, 2015 9:02:38 am
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday opened a new front in his electoral battle with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the choice for voters in the state this election was between Bihari and “bahari” (outsider).
Addressing a gathering in Begusarai district’s Ulao village, barely a kilometre from where Modi spoke on Thursday, Nitish said: “Bihar will progress on its own efforts. What will these outsiders do? I want to ask you a question, who will take Bihar forward, Bihari or bahari? If a Bihari is to take Bihar forward, then a real Bihari is here before you. We don’t need any of these ahari-bahari. Say goodbye to all these outsiders.”
In a speech directed mostly at Modi — party insiders said it was a deliberate tactic — Nitish spun almost every point he made against the Prime Minister on the local versus outsider theme, including the debate on consumption of beef.
“They don’t have leaders, workers or issues this election. Everything is being imported. This beef, cow slaughter, ideas are being brought from outside,” Nitish said.
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Accusing the BJP of wanting to divide society, Kumar claimed that meat production in Gujarat had gone up 234 per cent during Narendra Modi’s reign as chief minister.
“A lot of rumour-mongers are going around. They will throw bones there, they will throw meat here. Sometimes, they will butcher a pig and throw it. They will go to a temple and damage things there,” the CM said appealing for peace.
Referring to the PM invoking Bihar’s first CM Sri Krishna Singh on Thursday, Nitish said: “Don’t merely use Sri Babu’s name, understand the work he had done. Modiji, cow slaughter has been banned in Bihar since 1955, which was Sri Babu’s time.”
The JD(U) leader also claimed that no one answers in the negative in Bihar when Modi asks them whether they got electricity. “Modiji should understand that if I hadn’t taken electricity to villages, he wouldn’t have got so many votes (in the Lok Sabha polls). If people hadn’t seen his speeches on TV, how would they have said, ‘Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar?’ all the time?” he said.
Nitish also referred to the number of rallies the PM has been attending in Bihar in the run-up to the elections starting on October 12. “At this rate, the next time there is a panchayat election, the BJP will contest under the PM’s leadership,” he said.
The rally ended, once again, with an appeal to Bihari pride. “I have not brought Bihar to disrepute even once. If you give me another chance, I will ensure no Bihar resident has to bow his head because of what I do. I will take Bihar’s name further ahead and restore the state to its former glory,” Nitish said.
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