Modi doles out Rs 3769 crore Diwali gift for new-found ally Nitish's Bihar

Modi doles out Rs 3769 crore Diwali gift for new-found ally Nitish's Bihar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday doled out Rs 3769 crore worth projects as Diwali gift for the people of Bihar. The Centre’s largesse comes barely 75 days after Nitish Kumar formed his Government here with the help of BJP-led NDA.

The Diwali gift came when Modi laid the foundation stone for four national highway projects worth Rs 3031 crore and as many sewage treatment plants (STPs) and other related works worth Rs 738.04 crore.

Modi, who earlier in the day attended the centenary celebrations of Patna University, flew down to Mokama, some 100 km from the State Capital to lay the foundation stone of different projects. This includes six-lane Ganga bridge, worth Rs 1161 crore, and four-laning of NH-31.

“Bihar is now headed for speedy development and the fund will not be an impediment to its growth,” said the Prime Minister while addressing a gathering in Mokama.

Modi recounted how an earlier Chief Minister of Bihar (in reference to Lalu Prasad) would “dissuade from the construction of roads on the plea that roads were meant for only well-off people with motor vehicles, and not poor.”

Modi said such leaders had done irreparable damage to the State’s development. “However with development-oriented government at the Centre as well as in the State, Bihar will become a developed State by 2022, when the nation celebrates its 75th Independence Day,” the Prime Minister added.

Nitish thanked Modi profusely and lauded PM’s efforts to grant more fund to the cash-strapped State.

This was for the first time that Nitish and Modi shared the dais here on Saturday after the JD (U) formed the Government in the State with BJP’s support. Although Modi had visited Bihar in August this year after Nitish dumped Grand Alliance and deserted Congress as well as Lalu Prasad’s RJD, the Prime Minister basically undertook an aerial survey of flood-torn areas in north-eastern part of the State. The two leaders did not share any dais or public platform as the PM returned to New Delhi from Purnia after taking stock of the flood situation.

However, on Saturday, Modi graced the Patna University centenary celebration. But three prominent alumnus of PU - former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, BJP MP from Patna Sahib Shatrughan Sinha and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, all vocal critics of Modi, did not attend the programme due to not being “invited properly”.
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