Rahul Gandhi on Saturday kicked off a campaign to galvanise the Congress in Bihar ahead of the assembly polls, accusing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of being double-faced in his relationship with the BJP and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
"Modi did not campaign in the last assembly polls in Bihar, but shortly after the election, he (Nitish) was sighted with Modi holding hands at an NDA rally in Punjab... Kumar is maintaining a double face before and after polls," Gandhi said.
He said Nitish had been Union minister during the NDA rule at the Centre even after the Gujarat riots, but his government sat idle when MNS chief Raj Thackeray instigated attacks against migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi also criticised Nitish for objecting to the Modi's campaigning in Bihar.
He slammed the Nitish government for failure to utilise funds. The Centre had provided more financial aid to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar than other states, and "it is unfortunate to know that though funds reached Patna and Lucknow from Delhi, these did not reach the poor in rural areas".
Refuting Nitish's charge of the Centre's stepmotherly treatment, he said the UPA had provided Rs 19,000 crore for rural development as against Rs 3,000 crore by the NDA.
"If development has at all taken place in Bihar, why then are people migrating to Mumbai, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi for their livelihood?" Gandhi asked.
He exhorted the people to vote the Nitish regime out.
"Bihar needs a change of leadership to come out of its moribund state. It is for the youth to usher in that change."
"His visit to Samastipur is a big boost for the Congress's prospects in the district and we have the peoples' backing to pull two or three seats in our favour," said Ranjan Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the district Congress committee.
With PTI inputs