Bihar will celebrate two Diwalis: Modi

Bihar will celebrate two Diwalis: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Bihar would celebrate two Diwalis this November – one on November 8, when the Bihar Assembly election results would be announced, and the other on November 11, the actual date of Diwali.

Attacking Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “too arrogant” to be trusted with governance, and asked people to back the BJPs development agenda to change the state’s fortunes.

Addressing his first public rally after announcement of poll schedule, Modi wooed the youth and the poor, promising to address the issue of migration for employment, and telling them the solution to all their problems lie in development.

The prime minister also took a dig at his rivals for doubting the delivery of the financial package for Bihar he had announced.

“Some people are questioning the Rs 1.65 lakh crore package. They are asking whether it will come. Should a single rupee be given to the present government. Will it reach you?” he asked.

“Even if I give it, his (Nitish’s) arrogance is so much that he may even return it. I am worried that even if I give the Rs 1.65 lakh crore to the state, he will announce that he does not require this money as it has been given by Modi. I cannot trust him,” he said, recalling that an “angry” Kumar had returned the Rs 5 crore relief announced by Gujarat for the Kosi flood-affected.

Modi also asked former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who shared the dais with him, whether he could trust Nitish after he ousted him from the state's top job some months after appointing him.

He also countered rivals' accusation that he was doing Bihar a favour by announcing the package.

“This is the right of Bihar and its people, which I am trying to provide,” he said, adding, “This is not Modi’s money, it belongs to Bihar and its people.”

Appealing to the youth to turn up in large numbers to cast their votes for the NDA in the polls, he said Bihar’s development was linked to the country’s progress.

Citing a World Bank report on ease of doing business, he said Bihar continued to lag at 27th place among Indian states, unlike BJP-ruled Jharkhand, which progressed from the 29th to the third spot.

Refraining from mentioning contentious reservation issue, on which the BJP is on the backfoot after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks, Modi chose to keep his speech focused on development.He also made no mention of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has repeatedly targeted him on the reservation issue and castigated BJP chief Amit Shah on the issue of communalism.

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