Nitish makes emotional appeal to voters ahead of 2nd phase - Hindustan Times

Nitish makes emotional appeal to voters ahead of 2nd phase

By, Patna
Apr 23, 2024 09:44 PM IST

The longest serving Bihar CM writes an “open letter” to “Bihar Parivar” ahead of second phase of Lok Sabha elections.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday issued an emotional appeal in an “open letter” to the people of the state, reminding them of the state’s “pitiable condition” before he became the CM in 2005 and how generation of employment opportunities and jobs was part of the state’s continuous programme.

Union home minister Amit Shah and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections in Katihar. (PTI)
Union home minister Amit Shah and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections in Katihar. (PTI)

“You all know I sacrificed everything I had for the transformation of the state by pulling it out of a situation of hopelessness. Bihar recovered its lost prestige and its people got the basic facilities like roads, uninterrupted electricity, drinking water, education and health that they deserved but had been denied,” Kumar has written in the two-page letter addressed to “Bihar Parivar”, which was also released to the press.

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With only a day left for campaigning to end for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls, scheduled on April 26, the JD(U) supremo, in the letter, said that serving Bihar was his dharma and that the entire state was like his family.

JD(U) is contesting all the five seats in the state that will go to polls in the second phase on Friday.

Kumar also dwelt on the issue of employment, for which the RJD has been trying to take credit due to recruitment of teachers during its brief tenure in the government that ended in January this year.

“I had announced 10 lakh jobs and 10 lakh employment opportunities under the government’s flagship programme 7-Resolves (Part-2). Bihar is scripting history in that sphere with large-scale recruitments in education, police and other fields. The government has given jobs to lakhs of youth, while lakhs of others have been gives financial assistance for self-employment. Big investors are also coming to the state, which will further improve prospects for employment,” said Kumar, the longest serving chief minister of the state.

Appealing to people to vote for the NDA candidates and also motivate acquaintances, relatives and neighbours to do the same for the simple reason that “the state has come a long way since the dark pre-2005 days when girls enrolment in schools was abysmal and people dared moving out after dusk”, Kumar wrote that it was all possible due to “good governance”, which Bihar experienced.

“Today, girls enrolment at the secondary level is equal to boys and they are also getting employment in a big way in schools, police, health and other fields to contribute to state’s progress. Women also have over 50% representation in the Panchayat bodies. Over 1.30 crore women are there in over 10 lakh Jeevika self-help groups, which in itself is a pointer to the huge distance the state has covered,” he said.

Citing “utter lawlessness, kidnapping for ransom, mafia Raj and total absence of basic facilities of health, education and electricity prior to 2005”, Kumar said it was no secret where the state had reached and how it was pulled out of that situation to take it on the path of progress.

“Even doctors were target of abductors. In 2005, the cloud of darkness and despondency was removed when the people voted for the NDA government and Bihar turned a new leaf. I am here to serve and the entire Bihar is my family. I urge you to back all the NDA candidates to ensure that Bihar’s journey to progress and prosperity was not halted or reversed and the faith of the prospective investors in the state was not jolted,” he added.

Despite oft-reported age-related health issues and intense heat wave, Kumar, 74, has been campaigning hard, visiting various constituencies. He was in Madhepura, viewed as RJD stronghold, for four days before he moved to Bhagalpur. Earlier, he was also in Seemanchal.

Social analyst DM Diwakar said Bihar is always politically tough and Nitish Kumar knows that. “He is doing his part to supplement Narendra Modi’s campaigns, as the Opposition is also playing good politics under the guidance of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is physically not so active but always has his fingers on the pulse of Bihar politics,” he said.

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    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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