The Bihar BJP on Thursday kicked off its 2014 Lok Sabha poll by invoking the name of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on the home turf of his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar.
“Hindustan ka pradhan mantra kaisa ho, Narendra Modi jaisa ho”, was their war cry at the first of 40 district headquarters level public rally that the BJP plans to hold ahead of its proposed state level ‘hunkar rally’.
The rally, slated for October 27, will see Modi make his first public appearance in Bihar since his appointment as the BJP’s campaign panel chief provoked Kumar’s JD(U) to walk out of the NDA, on June 16.
An impressive crowd, gathered at the local Shram Kalyan Kendra Maidan in Biharsharif, responded with euphoric chants of ‘NaMo zindabad’, when told that Modi would hoist the tricolour at Delhi’s Red fort on August 15, 2014.
Senior party leader Sushil Kumar Modi had the crowd in a thrall when he wondered why the Bihar CM considered “Gujarat as an enemy land” and NaMo his enemy.
“Is it because Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel belonged to that state?” he wondered. The reference to Patel seemed significant as the people of Nalanda consider India’s first home minister as one of their own.
The former deputy CM announced his party would collect iron samples from the people of Nalanda for the proposed construction of a huge statue of Sardar Patel at Ahmedabad, a project announced by NaMo recently.
“It will establish a direct link between the people of Nalanda and the home state of Sardar Patel,” he told the crowd which had waited for hours in sultry weather to hear the party leaders, including the ousted Bihar ministers.
Cries of “shame, shame” rent the air, when BJP leaders pointed out that former health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey was expelled from the council of ministers, when he was battling between life and death in flood-hit Kedarnath.
The leaders on the dais concentrated mainly on Nitish bashing, describing his decision to dump the BJP “an act of treachery, and on eulogising NaMo.
Their focus was on the failures of the government after split in the NDA, as they held the Nitish regime responsible for the Bagaha police firing, serial bomb blasts at Bodh Gaya and the mid-day meal deaths.
Refuting the JD (U) government’s conspiracy theory, former animal husbandry minister Giriraj Singh described it as an attempt on the part of Nitish Kumar to misguide the people.
The ex-ministers present on the dais listed their departments’ contribution to the development of the state, and their humiliating treatment by Kumar when they were in the government “to keep the mandate for NDA afloat”.
“The mother of all rallies will be held at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on October 27, which will be addressed by Narendra Bhai Modi,” said leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly Nand Kishore Yadav.
Other speakers and participants included party MPs Shahnawaz Hussain and Radha Mohan Singh, CM Rai, Sukhda Pandey, Ram Charitra Prasad Singh, Vivek Thakur and Ashok Bhatt.
BJP state chief Mangal Pandey chaired the meeting.
A festive mood enveloped the meeting as members of the BJP Kala Manch did their bit to keep the crowd entertained.