Addressing a rally in Baisi, in Seemanchal, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav attacked the Modi government over laws to “harass” people.
In a veiled reference to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Mahagathbandhan’s CM candidate said, the Centre “has harassed you by bringing in different laws… I stood with you at that time. Let’s not get divided now.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who also addressed a rally in Seemanchal (in Araria), apart from Bihariganj in Madhepura from where Sharad Yadav’s daughter is contesting, said Modi and CM Nitish Kumar were the same. “Some talk about Modiji, some about Nitishji. The truth is they are one… Because Nitishji helps Narendra Modi and Modi makes Nitish CM. So there should not be any misunderstanding….”
A Grand Alliance government would be a government for all, Rahul said. “It will be a government of the poor, farmers, every caste and every religion and every district.”In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the only seat that the Mahagathbandhan won was in Seemanchal.
Both the Congress and ally RJD have so far tried to keep the election about local issues, leaving Modi alone and only attacking Nitish.
In his speech, Rahul said Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were no more than ‘Modi Voting Machines (MVMs)’, adding that this wouldn’t make a difference as the people of Bihar had decided to oust the BJP-JD(U) government. “It is not EVM, it is MVM, which means Modi Voting Machine… But this time the youth are angry in Bihar. So be it EVM or MVM, the Grand Alliance is going to win.”
He added, “MVM or Modiji ka media, I am not scared of them. Truth is truth, justice is justice. I am fighting a war of ideology against this man… However much hatred they try to spread, I always try to spread love.”
Attacking both Nitish and Modi over jobs, Rahul said, “Wherever Nitishji is addressing meetings, youngsters ask him where are our jobs. And Nitishji threatens them… It’s alright, he will not get the votes.”
Rahul talked about Nitish’s “betrayal” in switching sides to the NDA after winning in 2015 as part of the Mahagathbandhan. “He stabbed you… Pehle peeche, phir pet mein… Pehli baar chura nahin maara hain. Do, teen baar maara hai (First he stabbed you in the back, then in the stomach… It’s not the first time).”
Rahul said Modi’s “character” showed in the fact that he had announced a nationwide lockdown without any notice, or a thought for the poor, farmers and workers. “Modiji used to say the battle against corona would be won in 22 days… But nowadays he is silent… Modi’s character was on display during the lockdown… He did not even think for a minute about the migrant workers from Bihar….”
With Baisi one of the regions in Bihar from where a large proportion of unskilled workers move out seeking work across the country, RJD leaders also told the Baisi crowd repeatedly that Nitish “had blocked them from returning home during the lockdown”.
Sitting near the stage, Mantu Kumar Yadav said he will vote for Tejashwi because he is a fellow Yadav, plus that he is talking about jobs. “He has promised 10 lakh jobs. We are sure he will give at least 5 lakh.”
For Mohammad Naushad, 50, another thing matters. No political party works for the poor, he said, but the least they can do is maintain social harmony. “Like his father Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi will keep that social bond.” Calling the plans for an NRC divisive, he said he hoped Tejashwi will “save us from it”.
Arriving late, Tejashwi made a barely four-minute speech, also cautioning people against “voting for outsiders” — a reference to the AIMIM, contesting in 20 seats.
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