The Bihar assembly election date hasn’t been announced yet, but the political slugfest has begun already.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he might repackage existing schemes and offer them as a special package for the state where the BJP and JD(U)-RJD-Congress combination are locked in a do-or-die battle.
Ahead of Modi’s Saturday rally, his maiden visit to Bihar as Prime Minister, bitter rival Kumar embarked on an inauguration spree of infrastructure projects, starting on Tuesday with a flyover for which he had laid the foundation stone in October 2012.
“He (Modi) will launch parts of major projects and few repackaged projects. But I have no complaints. People of the state are watching who is doing what for them. They will decide which party or combine had served them better,” said Kumar, a former BJP ally who parted ways when the NDA made Modi its candidate for the prime minister’s post in the 2014 general election.
There are three more projects lined up for inauguration, including an incomplete international museum.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flags off JD(U) Yuva Express in Patna on July 21, 2015. (PTI Photo)
The BJP-led opposition accused the chief minister of being in a hurry to inaugurate half-baked projects for political gains as portions of the Bihar international museum, which is likely to be inaugurated on July 30, are still under construction. The Rs 530-crore project had also drawn flak from the Patna high court for cost escalation.
The chief minister tried to deflect the BJP’s barbs, saying he “was doing what Modi plans to do” during his visit to Muzaffarpur on Saturday.
“I am waiting for the July 25 rally (of Modi) to know whether a package was being provided or the existing projects will be bundled and repackaged in a gift wrap.”
Kumar said the Modi government was basking in reflected glory by inaugurating projects which started under his watch, such as the IIT-Patna campus or Digha railway bridge.
He asked people to watch out for BJP’s efforts to fine-tune existing projects and present them as new.