With only eight days left for the first phase of Bihar elections, campaigning in the state gained momentum on Tuesday, with BJP heavyweights like Yogi Adityanath and JP Nadda addressing rallies even as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav continued to trade barbs over the track record of each other’s regime.
Interestingly, in what is being seen as an attempt to keep the LJP, which has parted ways with the NDA, in good humour, both Nitish and Tejashwi met Chirag Paswan at the party office in Patna during the ‘shraad’ ceremony of former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan. Paswan and Tejashwi Yadav have so far refrained from attacking each other.
Addressing election rallies at Gopalganj’s Bhorey and Siwan’s Ziradei, NDA chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar raked up Tejashwi’s promise of 10 lakh jobs and asked if the money for the purpose would come from jail or through fake notes. Follow LIVE Updates
“These days many people are saying they will give this many jobs. But from where will they bring the money for the purpose? Will they bring it from the jail or will they do it through fake notes,” Kumar said in an apparent dig at incarcerated RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Appealing to the people not to get “misled” by RJD’s “pralobhan” (temptation), Nitish asked how many jobs did the party provide during its rule during 1990-2005.
“Our government gave more than six lakh jobs in the last five years and process is on for recruitment on 60-70 thousand more jobs. There was no road, no power…it was jungle raj,” he said. Kumar also alleged the Dalits were used by his rivals, but his government ensured respect to all. Dalits form about 17-18 per cent of Bihar’s population.
This sea of people is standing for change, development, employment and jobs in Bihar. The incompetent NDA govt of 15 years have ruined Bihar.
Humbled and grateful to receive rousing reception across the Bihar.
Such an electrifying crowd in Goh assembly, Aurangabad. pic.twitter.com/ztfz0fjhHK
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) October 20, 2020
On the other hand, Tejashwi Yadav, who is seeking re-election from Raghopur seat, said Nitish Kumar was the most unpopular chief minister of Bihar and the NDA government had ruined the state in the last 15 years.
Addressing a rally in Aurangabad’s Goh assembly constituency, Yadav said, “This sea of people is standing for change, development, employment and jobs in Bihar. The incompetent NDA govt of 15 years have ruined Bihar. Humbled and grateful to receive rousing reception across the Bihar.”
A video went viral showing a shoe being hurled towards Yadav at Bhabhandi in Kutumba Assembly constituency. However, the RJD leader was seen being unfazed by the incident and continued with his speech.
Construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, Article 370 and Pakistan-sponsored terrorism also found mention in the rallies, courtesy Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on the first day of his campaign in Bihar.
“Under Modis rule, terrorism has been wiped out and 95 per cent of naxals have been dealt with. We will ensure their ram naam satya hai (elimination) by the time the Ram temple construction is complete,” Adityanath said.
One of BJP’s star campaigner for the polls, Adityanath, who addressed three rallies in central Bihar, said under Modi’s leadership, the BJP’s old promise of abrogation of Article 370 had been achieved in J&K and Pakistan had been made to realise that it could no longer sponsor terrorism on Indian soil.
“This is Modi’s India, where even chants of Bharat tere tukde honge inside the JNU campus will not be tolerated,” the CM said, referring to the 2016 students protests inside the campus.
Both Adityanath and BJP chief JP Nadda hit out at the Congress over Shashi Tharoor’s recent criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic in comparison to neighbouring countries. Calling the Congress “anti-national”, Nadda said its leaders were praising Pakistan when an election is under way in India.
“When the election is on in Bihar, they talk about Pakistan. What has Bihar election got to do with Pakistan? But Congress leaders are praising Pakistan. And who is leading them in this praise? Rahul Gandhi,” Nadda said at a rally in Buxar.
Taking a dig at BJP for fielding a bevy of heavyweights for campaigning, Tejashwi Yadav said, “If I am inexperienced then why is the BJP using its full force against me? This proves that they are desperate. Is Nitish Kumar’s face not working?”
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