Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that law and order was very poor in Bihar from the 1990s till 2005 and the state’s present-day problems stemmed from those days, appealing to the voters to shun ‘lantern’ since electricity had reached every poor household in the state.
Addressing a public rally in Gaya, his second in the poll-bound state, Modi brought up the issues of bad condition of roads, alleged sheer lawlessness and people afraid of buying new cars for ‘fear of a particular party getting wind’ of it and grabbing the vehicles.
“There was a time in Bihar when electricity was supplied to the homes of the rich. The need for lanterns (RJD poll symbol) in today’s Bihar is over. Today, every poor household in Bihar has an electricity connection; there is light.”
“Back then, in Bihar, people did not buy cars so that the workers of a political party did not get to know of their earnings. It was a time when going from one city to another, people were not sure whether they would reach their destination or be kidnapped midway,” the Prime Minister said at the Gandhi Maidan here.
He claimed that in the 90s, Bihar was pushed into a quagmire of chaos and disorder. Even today, the roots of many problems of present-day Bihar lie in the chaos of the misrule in the 90s, he alleged.
Raising the issue of Naxalism that once plagued this belt in Bihar, Modi said that much effort was put in and strict action taken in the last few years to curb such activities in the country. Naxal presence has now been restricted to few areas, he said.
The Centre made efforts to bring Maoist-hit areas out of violence and introduced development. But he also warned that “preparation is afoot to take Bihar back to that age of darkness”.
Flaying the Mahagathbandhan, he alleged that those who give Naxals a “free hand” in the past are now standing against the National Democratic Alliance.
“When action is taken against those advocating to break or divide the country, these people (opposition) stand with them. The model of these people has been to make Bihar sick and helpless,” Modi alleged and appealed for vote for the NDA in the Assembly polls to “fulfil the hopes and expectations” with which they put it in power at the Centre.
“People of Bihar know what the situation was at that time. People were killed in broad daylight, kidnappings took place, and criminals were protected by leaders of the ruling party. Massacres happened in large numbers. People of Bihar stayed inside homes after sunset. No one can forget that,” Modi said while addressing a public gathering in Shahpur in Sasaram block of Rohtas district.
“The situation changed after the change of regime in Bihar. Such lawlessness had forced people of Bihar to change the government. After the NDA came to power under the leadership of Nitish Kumar, the atmosphere of fear changed. Now, parents are not scared when their daughters step out of the house. What was the situation then? Parents virtually had their hearts in their mouths till their daughters did not return home safely,” Modi said.
“Now, a new generation has come into politics of Bihar but its ideology is the same. People of Bihar will not fall for their bluff. People will give votes to the NDA.
“They (Opposition leaders) are experts in spreading aberration. People of Bihar knew how they extort lakhs of rupees for giving one government job. They are offering the same this time too to get votes. They are looking at you with tempting offer. They are luring voters of Bihar through job offers,” Modi said.
“When the RJD lost the Assembly elections in Bihar in 2005, they were still part of the UPA in the Centre. They deliberately did not allow the economic packages to be sanctioned to the state from the Centre.”
The Prime Minister added: “Nitish Kumar was the CM of Bihar and I was Gujarat CM when the UPA ruled at the Centre. In every CMs’ meeting in Delhi, Nitish Kumar used to urge the then Manmohan Singh government for special packages for Bihar but the Congress alliance partner (RJD) would not let it sanction any package. In the last four years, we have a double engine government in Bihar and we are working together.”
“The leaders on the other side (UPA) are on a destructive path to sabotage the nation. We abolished Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir last year and their leaders said they will restore it once they came to power,” Modi said.
“Bihar is a place which produces brave soldiers. They were martyred while fighting in Galwan Valley. They were also martyred in the Pulwama attack. I want to pay respects and homage to them and their family,” Modi said.
“Our double engine government is working on every aspect to develop Bihar through road infrastructure, power supply, irrigation connectivity to every agricultural land, construction of large number of bridges on the rivers. I want to point out that the construction of four-lane bridge is in the last phase at Koilwar in Bhojpur district, a bridge is also coming on the river Son to connect Bihar with Jharkhand. Construction of new roads, widening of roads from two lanes to four lanes are being done on a large-scale power plant in Chausa in Buxar district at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore is also coming up,” Modi added.
“Such infrastructure will help create a new food park as areas surrounding Rohtas, Kaimur and Bhojpur are known as ‘Dhan Ka Katora’,” Modi said.
Modi said that he had decided to conduct one common entrance examination in the country for different jobs. “Besides, we will soon implement ‘education in mother tongue’, including in higher education fields like medical and engineering,” he said.
He claimed that the opposition were against new agricultural laws to save middlemen. “The farmers will directly sell their produce to anyone and anywhere. I want to assure you that the new laws will help the farmers,” he said.
Modi started his one-hour speec in Bhojpuri and paid homage to Bihar’s leaders Ram Vilas Paswan and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh who died recently.
He also said that people from Scheduled Castes and Tribes as well as Backward Classes were getting the benefit of reservation. Besides, 10 per cent reservation was also given to the economically weaker sections among the upper castes, he added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said: “We have connected every village with roads in the state. With the help of the Centre, free LPG was given to 85 lakh poor during coronavirus pandemic. We arranged trains to bring back our migrant labourers. Two Covid hospitals are coming up in Bihta in Patna district and Patahi in Muzaffarpur district,” Kumar said.
“When we came to power, electricity consumption in Bihar was 700 megawatt but now it’s 6,000 megawatt. In 2005, the Bihar budget was Rs 24,000 crore but Rs 2.11 lakh crore now. We believe in development and it will continue if you vote for the NDA in this election,” Kumar said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked the voters in Bihar whether they wanted ‘jungle raj’ (lawlessness) or ‘sushasan’ (good governance) in the state.
Addressing his third and final rally of the day at Bhagalpur in Bihar, he continued his attack on the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal.
“Bihar deserves investment. Who will ensure this? Those who turned Bihar into ‘jungle raj’ or those who are delivering good governance in Bihar and are dedicated to the state’s development? Bihar deserves better law and order. Who will ensure that? Those who patronised goons or those who showered batons on them?
“Bihar also deserves better education system. Can it be ensured by those who are not even aware of value of education or by those who are working 24/7 to bring IITs and AIIMS to the state?”
Alleging that political parties pitted against the NDA were “against India’s growth”, Modi threw his weight behind Nitish Kumar. “People of Bihar are aware that it is necessary to make Nitish Kumar the CM again for faster development of the state,” he said.
Speaking of “Bihar’s lawless past”, Modi said: “You are well aware of the conditions people faced in cities and towns of Bihar, including Bhagalpur. Small shopkeepers, businessmen, labourers — everyone was upset in their ‘jungle raj’.”
He added that it robbed districts like Bhagalpur and Munger of new business ventures.
Modi said that jobs and infrastructure were important and hence a package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore was announced for Bihar.
Citing the social justice plank of the RJD during Lalu Prasad’s rule, Modi said: “Earlier, governments in Bihar only made false promises of welfare of tribals and to liberate them from exploitation. Now, the NDA government is giving full attention to education, health, homes for them, employment for tribal children.”
The Prime Minister urged Bihar people to buy local to given self-reliant India initiative a push this festive season. “It is the season of festivals. So whatever shopping you do, buy more and more locally produced. Support Bhagalpur silk sarees, Manjusha paintings, and other products.”
The elections for 243 Assembly seats will be held in three phases — for 71 seats on October 28, for 94 seats on November 3, and remaining 78 on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.