In a direct attack on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday alleged that some people were using corporate money in their election campaigns and promising to bring "heaven on earth" without concrete policies for development.
Releasing the manifesto of the Janata Dal (United), Kumar said big business houses were investing in the elections in the hope of getting proportionate returns. "This election is bound to be one of the most expensive elections in the country due to the huge quantum of money being pumped into by corporate houses," he said.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav also shared Nitish's concern saying helicopters of private aviation companies had been booked by corporate houses for use by leaders
of national parties. "The Election Commission should stop use of helicopters in election campaigns," he said.
Kumar said BJP was creating a "virtual world with false promises" through its campaign blitzkrieg to influence people for votes in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. "They have not come out with concrete policies and programmes for development. The basic issues concerning people are being ignored. But people of this country are aware of such tricks and these won't work," he said.
Ridiculing the Gujarat model of development, Kumar quoted reports of a magazine, which said that over 8.4 lakh candidates had applied for a job offering `5300 per month against a total vacancy of 1500. "Drinking water projects are in limbo in Gujarat and 42% people there have no drinking water facilities. If this is the yardstick of development, then I need not say anything as the figures themselves tell the real story," he said.
Taking on Modi on the issue of animal slaughter, Kumar said the maximum number of non-vegetarian leaders was in BJP and it was the then animal husbandry minister (when the NDA in Bihar was intact) and now its candidate from Nawada (Giriraj Singh), who had allowed opening of slaughter houses in Bihar. "Food habits of people have nothing to do with religious identity. I am a vegetarian. Now, guess who believes in animal slaughter," he said.
Kumar also attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and stressed that Congress was responsible for opening the locks of the Babri mosque, 1984 Sikh riots as also Bhagalpur riots. "The Congress talks about secularism only during elections. The Centre has not taken concrete steps on recommendations of the Sachar committee," he said.
Claiming that the Congress-led UPA government had failed on all fronts, he said corruption reached its peak during the regime. "It is because of the failure of the Congress-led government that parties like BJP are emerging stronger," he emphasized.
He said Congress should also explain its position on the sting operation revealing that the demolition of Babri mosque was not "spontaneous", but it was a "conspiracy" hatched by BJP. "It is a serious issue and they should clarify," he said.
Asked whether Congress too was playing the communal card by roping in Jama Masjid's Imam Abdullah Bukhari, Kumar said, "They are trying to do so but the card is too weak to have any impact."
On the alleged threat of Saharanpur Congress candidate Imran Masood to cut Narendra Modi into pieces, Kumar said such personal attacks should be avoided. "But the poll heat has reached such a level that it is fast turning out to be 'personalised election'," he added.
On the electoral prospects of JD(U), Kumar said the party would play a decisive role in installing a non-BJP and non-Congress government at the Centre. When asked who would be the prime minister, he said someone from the 11-party front would be installed as the prime minister. "The prime ministerial candidate will be decided through consensus after the election results. We will have a common minimum programme based on secularism, democracy and federalism," he said.