Package shows BJP aim to grab Bihar

Package shows BJP aim to grab Bihar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bihar package, which is over and above on-going national social sector schemes, underscores BJP's high-stake strategy in the poll-bound state.

The Rs. 1.25 lakh-crore development package for Bihar is a fulfilment of election promise Modi had made in the run-up to the 2014 general elections and counters persistent special assistance demand of rival JD-U Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The huge amount is besides an additional Rs 40,000 crore already being invested in the state, the government stated.
Modi asserted that some of the projects launched at Ara on Tuesday would “transform the face of Bihar in the days to come”, adding punch to party’s political campaign of bringing “Parivartan (change)” and ending “Jungle Raj II” if the NDA is voted to power in the Assembly polls expected in September or October.

The BJP is leaving no stone unturned for contesting perhaps the toughest ever electoral battle, pitched in a direct contest against alliance of the JD-U-RJD and the Congress since Modi-Amit Shah dispensation swept polls in 2014.

Realising that “Bihar’s pride” will be an election issue which JD-U leader Nitish Kumar has been trying to rake up as he did again after package announcement by saying that it’s “a right not favour” granted to the state, the BJP is trying to pitch it against the development of the region and Nitish Kumar’s arrogance. Modi also questioned Kumar’s refusal to take financial assistance from him to help people affected by Kosi floods when he was Gujarat chief minister. 

The package is essentially different development projects put together but the break-up of the spending under 12 sectors released by the government does not give a timeline for completing them. Some of them are old schemes and the Modi government is trying to revive them.

The biggest spending of Rs 54,713 crore will be on constructing of 2,775 kms of highways, three brides and 12 rail overbridges followed by Rs 21,476 crore under the head of “petroleum and gas” for expansion of Barauni refinery, construction of gas pipelines and petrol-diesel pipeline from Raxaul to Nepal.  The next priority spending to the tune of Rs 16,130 crore is on electrification.

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