In a departure from direct attacks on rivals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday focused on Bihar’s farm woes besides using the sting operations against JD (U) and RJD leaders to hit out at the grand alliance (GA).
He also invoked socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan to exhort people to reject parties resorting to corruption.
While the tenor of his earlier rallies was indirectly running down RJD chief Lalu Prasad and chief minister Nitish Kumar on caste and beef-based issues, Modi took the JP route at his Jehanabad and Bhabua rallies to ‘expose’ the duo.
“This (sting operation) happened on the birth anniversary of JP, who stood up against corruption. JP’s struggle to wake up the nation led to his imprisonment, after which he died. Those who use JP’s name and claim to be taking his legacy forward insulted him on his birthday,” Modi added.
The sting operations led to the resignation of urban development minister Awadhesh Kumar Kushwaha, a key JD (U) leader, on Sunday. RJD, on the other hand, dismissed as conspiracy the exposé on senior leader Mudrika Singh Yadav.
Modi took a dig at Kumar for choosing a partner with a “history” of indulging in corruption, urging people to “clean them up” as a tribute to JP.
Referring to the sting, Modi said what was worse that it happened on the birth annivesary of the socialist icon. “This was done by those who used to stake claim to JP’s legacy. Such insult to JP should have never been done.”
Linking the incident to Nitish Kumar’s alliance with RJD chief Lalu, Modi said,” As long as the BJP was a part of the government, there was no such sting, no such corruption. But ever since he (Kumar) joined hands with that great man, who has expertise in such things, it has begun to happen.”
He also alluded to Prasad’s conviction in a fodder scam case. “Where will you go if this money game goes on. Will you be able to give Rs 4 lakh?” Modi asked the crowd.
Referring to Jagdev Prasad’s killing, he said, ”When did the killing of Jagdev Babu happen? Jagdev ji fought for the deprived and the have nots.”
The Prime Minister, who has been repeatedly targeting Lalu and Kumar for aligning with the Congress, reminded people that Congress was in power in Bihar when the leader was killed.
“Jagdev babu was a minister but he was murdered. Who were the people sitting in the government then faced allegations. The voice of the Dalits and the deprived was stifled then,” he said.
Insisting that only the NDA was committed to development, Modi pointed out that the focus of the “selfish, power-hungry leaders” of GA was not on uplifting the poor masses but “finishing Modi”.
“Democracy is not meant for finishing anyone. It is for raising the hopes and aspirations of the people,” Modi said, making a “neighbour’s promise” to change Bihar’s rural economy.
“Being the MP of Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), I am your nearest neighbour,” Modi said, assuring that he would undo the wastage of water and human resources of Bihar by successive governments.