Voters undergo thermal screening as they queue up outside a polling station at Naubatpur in Patna on Wednesday, during the first phase of the Bihar Assembly elections | Photo: PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Wednesday tore into the Opposition RJD
in Bihar, calling its chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav
the “yuvraj (crown prince)” of “jungle raj”, and attacking him over the promise of one million government jobs.
He cautioned people against the double whammy Bihar could face if those responsible for having turned the state “beemar (sick)” were voted to power amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing back-to-back rallies in Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur in north Bihar, and the state capital, the prime minister also set the tone for the day with a dash of Hindutva when he made a mention of Ayodhya
at his first election meeting.
“Forget about government jobs. If they succeed (in winning), Bihar will lose jobs even in the private sector. The party has copyright over kidnappings and companies will be forced to shut shop and flee as they will be under duress because of extortion calls,” Modi alleged.
He was apparently referring to Yadav's alluring promise of sanctioning one million permanent government jobs at the first Cabinet meeting if his party was voted to power.
“It’s not the time for hawa hawai (empty promises)’. These elections
are an opportunity to re-elect those who have pulled Bihar out of deep darkness... Please ask yourself the question does the yuvraj of jungle raj have the credibility and the experience to fulfil the aspirations of the state’s lower and middle classes,” he said.
He lauded Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
for leading the state from misgovernance to good governance, from darkness to light, and from the phase where kidnapping had become an industry to the one full of opportunities.
Addressing Kumar as the “vartamaan evam bhaavi mukhyamantri (the present and future CM)”, Modi said progress made by Bihar in the last decade-and-a-half has raised people's aspirations and the state was poised to touch new milestones like becoming the next IT hub.
Repeatedly attacking Tejashwi Yadav, Modi said: “He has been brought up on a value system where public money is looted to help one’s own family prosper. For such people, job creation becomes a tool to make crores of rupees.”
Sending out a subtle message in Hindutva at his first rally in Darbhanga, Modi said he was glad to be in Mithila, the birthplace of Mother Sita.
“And the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya
has also begun. Those siyasi log (his political opponents) who used to taunt us over the delay in construction of the Ram temple are now compelled to clap in applause,” he said.
Over 52% polling amid Covid guidelines
Polling in 71 assembly constituencies of Bihar continued beyond 6 pm in the first phase of Bihar Assembly Election on Wednesday. This was the first major election conducted amid Covid-19 pandemic. The voting process remained largely peaceful without any major incident or EVM glitch. This was the first time that voting went on until 6 pm, instead of 5 pm, to avoid crowding
52.24 per cent voter turnout until 5 pm, against 54.94 per cent in 2015 Assembly polls and 53.54 per cent in the Lok Sabha polls
71 Assembly constituencies in 16 districts went for polls in the first phase
1,000 candidates were in the fray
Rahul throws 'chai, pakoda' jibes at PM
leader Rahul Gandhi
attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, throwing at him “chai and pakoda” jibes and accusing him of “not talking about” issues confronting India, such as unemployment but speaking only about other countries. On his second round of campaign in the ongoing state elections, Gandhi addressed two back to back rallies — one at Valmiki Nagar in West Champaran and the other at Kusheswar Asthan in Darbhanga — and also assailed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
over the issues of unemployment, migration and poverty. PTI
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