Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is set to rally his troops for the upcoming Bihar elections in the wake of a war of words between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
The Congress, which is backing the Janata Dal-United-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance in Bihar, is expected to focus on seat-sharing and an election campaign strategy when Gandhi meets central and Bihar leaders on Tuesday. The meeting will also consider ways to bolster the alliance.
Bihar’s political arena has heated up after an exchange between Modi and Kumar and Lalu Prasad on Sunday.
Addressing a ‘parivartan’ (change) rally in Gaya, Modi launched a blistering attack on Kumar, warning voters a win for the alliance led by the JD-U would signal the return of “jungle raj” to one of India’s poorest states.
Modi said the JD-U-RJD alliance cannot be trusted based on its track record and called the combine “politically opportunistic”.
“If jungle raj part 2 comes, everything will be ruined,” Modi said, referring to Lalu Prasad, who was convicted in a fodder scam and spent time in prison. “Does anyone learn good things in jail? In jungle raj part 1, there was no experience of jail. In jungle raj part 2, there is an experience of jail.”
As Modi delivered his speech, Kumar and Lalu Prasad came up with a real-time rebuttal on Twitter.
The RJD chief countered Modi’s warning about a more dangerous ‘jungle raj’ by tweeting: “The PM should ask his friend Amit Shah as to what other than ‘Jhuth-fareb, jumla and bantnaumla(lies, deceit, rhetoric and divisive politics)’ he learnt in jail.”
Lalu Prasad asked Modi to list the achievements of his rule and what he had done for Bihar. “Bhootkal ke bhoot na bane, aage dekhen (Don’t be a ghost of the past, look forward.)”
Kumar asked Modi on Twitter: “Can you tell what bad habits Shah imbibed during his jail term.”
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