Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the three-party Grand Alliance (GA) was an outcome of desperation and the people of Bihar have seen through it to help the NDA form the next government comfortably.
He said the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be largely responsible for the electoral win. He added that the people were convinced the centre would change the state with its proposed special package and annoyed by the Bihar government’s negative approach to it.
The third factor working for the NDA, Jaitley said, was the unflinching support of the youth who have risen above caste and community to seek development and “nothing else”.
“The election in Bihar is a battle for the Congress, the only national party in the group, to save itself from extinction. For the JD(U), it is the last opportunity to play the politics of opportunism while the RJD of Lalu Prasad is a family affair where the first generation cannot contest elections and efforts are on to train the second generation,” Jaitley said.
“It is obvious that GA is a creation of such desperate groups,” added the finance minister who has been camping in Patna for the last three days, reworking the party’s poll strategy.
Jaitley said the JD(U) sacrificed its developmental agenda after allying with the RJD, and this has made GA contest the polls without any focus on issues that matter most to the people. “People of Bihar know this, and desire to have a government that would work in close coordination with the centre for all-round progress.”
The finance minister said the polling pattern in the three phases indicated a clear lead for the NDA. These phases on October 12, 16 and 28 covered 131 of a total 243 assembly seats. The remaining two phases are on November 1 and 5.
On the issue of granting special status to Bihar, Jaitley said it has become irrelevant after the 14th Finance Commission.
He chose to downplay party MP Shatrughan Sinha’s tweets lambasting the BJP leadership at the local level. “I don’t want to comment on the statements of some people,” he said.
Returning award is manufactured rebellion
Jaitley has termed the returning of awards by litterateurs and filmmakers protesting the “growing intolerance in the country” as manufactured rebellion by those opposed to the BJP mindset.
“This is manufactured rebellion going on at a fast speed. It is disproportionate political reaction mostly by those opposed to what the BJP believes in,” he said, asking why such “rebels” did not raise their voices against the corruption that took place in the last 10 years.