Ahead of first phase of Bihar polls, barbs fly thick and fast
Ram Vilas Paswan, a Dalit icon who died on October 8 at 74, had started his political innings in 1969 from Alauli. The reserved seat includes Paswan’s birth place, Saharbbani village, in the Khagaria district.Updated: Oct 25, 2020, 06:19 IST
With days left before assembly elections kick off in Bihar, top leaders from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the opposition Grand Alliance (GA) are trying to add more firepower to their campaigns. Seventy-one assembly seats go to the polls in the first of three phases on October 28.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is seeking a fourth straight term, addressed a poll rally in Alauli assembly seat — associated with Lok Janshakti Party founder Ram Vilas Paswan — but refrained from speaking anything either against the party or its president, Chirag Paswan, who has been attacking him regularly and decided to fight the polls independently after breaking away from the ruling NDA.
Ram Vilas Paswan, a Dalit icon who died on October 8 at 74, had started his political innings in 1969 from Alauli. The reserved seat includes Paswan’s birth place, Saharbbani village, in the Khagaria district.
The constituency is witnessing a three-cornered contest between the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the LJP. Kumar’s party has fielded Sadhna Sada, RJD has given ticket to Rambriksha Sada while Chirag’s LJP has put Ramchandra Sada on the seat that will go to vote in the second phase on November 3.
Taking a swipe at the RJD, Kumar said: “Those who neglected education, health and roads construction and spent time in encouraging ‘jungle raj’ are today talking about development...its nothing but a joke.”
Chirag Paswan, however, continued his tirade against Kumar by saying that, if elected to power, the LJP will launch a probe into the JD(U) ‘Saat Nischay’ (seven resolves) Scheme, and prosecute officials and the CM if they are found responsible for corruption. Addressing a rally in Chenari, Paswan said Kumar failed in governance and the state was facing its worst ever crisis in health care, farming and employment sectors.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda took a dig at the RJD and Tejashwi Yadav’s poll promise of one million jobs. “Lawlessness is the nature of RJD. They never sought forgiveness for what they did to the people of Bihar. This implies that they still have the same intentions. Nitish Kumar knew that good governance cannot be achieved while in power with the RJD alliance. This is why he broke ties with them and came with BJP,” Nadda said during a rally at Biharsharif.
Union minister Smriti Irani, too, addressed a rally at Munger where she reminded people of the fodder scam. “Bihar’s self-respecting people don’t pray to God for a chance to get money in fodder scam. While praying to goddess Laxmi, they find that she neither comes by holding ‘haath’ of Congress nor brings ‘Lalten’. She comes by sitting on ‘Kamal’,” she said.
Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, which is contesting elections in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, also addressed a rally in favour of RLSP candidate Birendra Kumar Singh from Bhabua. “Atrocities, poverty and unemployment were the fate of people here during 15 years of rule of RJD and NDA each. Bihar was the only state in the country where 48,000 patients were left on mercy of a single doctor. Here, education system had completely collapsed and youth go to Rajasthan, Delhi and Mumbai to complete their education.”