Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Jharkhand’s tribal voters with a promise to bring development to the eastern state which kicked off the first of its five-phase assembly elections on Tuesday.
Modi also offered political stability to the state which has seen a string of coalition governments since its creation in 2000, a key campaign issue for the BJP that is looking to expand its national footprint after spectacular performances in the general election and the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls.
“With the support of the tribal people, the BJP will form the government in Jharkhand with a clear mandate,” he said at a rally in Chaibasa town, about 60 km from Jamshedpur. “I want the people of the state to become as rich as its land is rich.”
The BJP is hoping to tap Jharkhand’s 26% tribal population by offering to lift them out of poverty through development of the state’s abundant natural resources.
“Have faith in a chaiwala (tea seller) and give a majority to the BJP (to form a government),” he said, promising to develop the state like the BJP-ruled states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.
The resurgent BJP is taking the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) head on in the state where Modi said rival parties were trying to mislead t people by alleging that the BJP would snatch lands, forests and minerals that belong to the tribal people.
He slammed the Congress, saying it had no right to question the government’s performance in the past six months, when it had done nothing despite being in power for years.
“They (UPA) were in power for the maximum time but did nothing for the tribal community,” he said.
EC bans exit polls in Jharkhand, J&K
Ranchi: The election commission has banned exit polls of any kind in poll-bound Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
“The publication and dissemination of exit polls of any kind in Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir have been banned,” chief election commissioner of Jharkhand, P K Jajoria, said while quoting a statement of election commission of India on Tuesday.
The ban on exit polls comes even as brisk polling is being reported in both states. ANI