Lalu, Nitish humiliated JP, Lohia: Modi

Lalu, Nitish humiliated JP, Lohia: Modi

Lalu, Nitish humiliated JP, Lohia: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday tried to strike an emotional chord with his audience in Bihar by raking up the state’s anti-Congress sentiments of the past.

Addressing a mammoth NDA rally at the airport ground here, Modi accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad of disrespecting past leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan and Karpoori Thakur by joining hands with the Congress.

“These veteran socialists fought Congress tooth and nail. But their chele-chapati (a derogatory term for disciples) Lalu and Nitish have joined hands with the same Congress which had put JP in jail,” the PM said, taking an indirect dig at the Swabhimaan rally held at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Sunday, which was attended by, besides Kumar and Prasad, Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The trio had launched fierce attacks against Modi on that occasion.

The PM, however, floated the sentiment plank after his initial words on the package war with CM Kumar did not appeal to many.  Accusing Kumar of crying for more funds without being able to spend the sanctioned amount, Modi said: “The 14th Finance Commission is likely to provide Bihar an assistance of around Rs 3,76,000 crore in the next five years.

This will be apart from the Rs 1.25 lakh crore package I have already announced plus the Rs 40,000 crore worth ongoing projects. But I have been told that Nitish has announced his vision document of Rs 2.7 lakh crore. He should explain what will happen to the rest of the money that will come from the Centre.”

But Modi changed the topic after finding the crowd showing little interest in the numbers.
On Tuesday, the PM appeared relatively less aggressive compared to the previous four occasions held in July and August. The crowd, which had gathered since early morning, also was found to be less cheerful when he mocked Kumar, saying: “Nitish used to say that he won’t seek votes if he can’t provide electricity. Bijli aayi? (Did you get electricity?).” Some among the crowd, like Shambhu Sharan, a local trader, said there has been a lot of improvement in the state’s power sector.

PM Modi made a mistake during his speech when he said  the special package for Bihar was announced at Gaya. An NDA leader present on the dais said it was announced at Ara following which Modi rectified himself. Although the turnout at the Bhagalpur rally (estimated to be over 4 lakh) outnumbered the opponent’s Swabhimaan rally, there were also voices of disappointment among Modi’s audience.

According to Shamshad Alam, an unemployed youth, it was a lacklustre address during which Modi only blew his own trumpet over helping quake victims and avoiding another Kosi-type tragedy and nothing about the local weavers, the riot victims or the Vikramshila University. “Perhaps he is devoid of issues now,” Alam said.

“Every time a prime minister comes, he or she promises to address the problems of weavers, set up a bench of the Patna High Court and establish a DRM office, but they are never meant to be fulfilled,” Siddheshwar Prasad, a retired teacher who had come to listen to Modi, told Deccan Herald.

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