After using a 3D holographic projection of himself to address audiences in multiple cities at once during the Gujarat assembly polls last year, chief minister Narendra Modi continued his affair with technology on Saturday by addressing BJP workers in Bihar via teleconference.
In a veiled attack on friend-turned-foe Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Modi said that those who had betrayed the NDA mandate in Bihar would be “taught a lesson”.
“There is a 1974-like anti-Congress wave in the country now,” he said in his interaction with 1,500 BJP workers. “The mandate of the people of Bihar was for the NDA. Like then (in 1974), those who betrayed the people’s mandate in Bihar will be taught a lesson.”
Modi recalled that Bihar and Gujarat had rebelled together in 1974, a reference to the Jayaprakash Narayan movement that toppled Indira Gandhi three years later.
The aim of Modi’s interaction was to connect with and enthuse Bihar workers – most of whom are known to admire him – and to claim the legacy of anti-Congressism in the state.
"The interaction was meant for workers from the block and district levels, who will carry the message of a ‘Congress-JD(U)-free’ Bihar,” former deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi said.
Narendra Modi made a few Bihar-specific promises – such as providing 24x7 power on the lines of the “Gujarat model” and tackling naxalism in Bihar districts – with the clear message being that Nitish Kumar lacks Modi’s governance credentials.
But, careful not to sound patronising, a charge tacitly levelled against him by Kumar, he added: “The Gujarat model may not fit any other state, and it is up to state leaders to prescribe a winnable and sustainable model for development of their own states.”
Following Modi’s interaction, party workers in Patna were buoyed that such a “big man” had interacted with them. There was a sense that the JD(U)’s “betrayal” and Nitish Kumar’s perceived closeness with a “corrupt” UPA should be made elections issues.
The BJP in Bihar has designed a campaign revolving around Nitish Kumar’s praise of Narendra Modi in 2003 and his purported statement that Modi should at some point take over the reins of the nation. It will distribute CDs of the 2003 speech across Bihar.