Lok Sabha elections 2019: PM Narendra Modi, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar share dais after a decade at NDA Sankalp rally - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha elections 2019: PM Narendra Modi, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar share dais after a decade at NDA Sankalp rally

Hindustan Times, Patna | By
Mar 03, 2019 01:17 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had last attended a rally together in Ludhiana ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Kumar’s party JD (U) left the NDA in June 2013 and formed a Grand Alliance with the RJD and Congress before the 2015 Assembly elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar shared the dais at a political rally on Sunday for the first time since 2009 at NDA’S “Sankalp” rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on March 3.

This will be PM Modi’s second visit to the state within a fortnight, the first being on February 17 in Begusarai, from where he inaugurated and launched projects.(Parwaz Khan / HT Photo)
This will be PM Modi’s second visit to the state within a fortnight, the first being on February 17 in Begusarai, from where he inaugurated and launched projects.(Parwaz Khan / HT Photo)

This was PM Modi’s second visit to the state within a fortnight, the first being on February 17 in Begusarai, from where he inaugurated and launched projects.

The rally comes days after air strikes at terror bases in Pakistan and the release of IAF officer Wing Commander Abhinandan from Pakistan on Friday. “We welcome his return and want to thank and congratulate the PM over the manner in which he raised the matter at world forum. The world has united against terrorism,” said Bhupendra Yadav, BJP MP and the party’s in-charge of Bihar, on Saturday.

All union ministers from Bihar, including Ramvilas Paswan, will share dais with Modi.

Modi and Kumar had last attended a rally together in Ludhiana ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Kumar’s party JD (U) left the NDA in June 2013 and formed a Grand Alliance with the RJD and Congress before the 2015 Assembly elections.

In July 2017, he joined the NDA again. On Friday, Modi greeted Kumar on his birthday and referred to him as “my friend” and praised him for pulling the state “out of the shadows of years of misrule”.

The ‘sankalp’ (resolution) rally, which will be a show of unity for the NDA, will also kick off the alliance’s poll campaign in the state for the Lok Sabha elections likely to be announced soon.

“This rally is not only important for Bihar, but will also send a message to the nation that Modi has shown how to work under crisis,” said JD (U) state president Bashistha Narain Singh.

“It will also send a message that Bihar has changed under the present regime,” he said.

“It’s a rally to show unity, reiterate our resolve for all-round development, to vow for a developed India, developed Bihar and to vow take India into a front ranking nations,” said BJP state president Nityanand Rai.

Rai rejected suggestions of the opposition to cancel the rally in the wake of heightening tension between India and Pakistan. “The rally was planned two months back,” he said.

LJP’S state president Pashupati Paras praised PM Modi for his dynamism. “He is a revolutionary PM and NDA will return to power with two-third majority,” said Paras.

Huge billboards, hoardings and posters with pictures of the NDA leaders have sprung up along Patna’s main roads and lanes.

Party leaders and legislators have been asked to arrange accommodation to enable people from their constituencies to come to the city for the rally.

State presidents of BJP, JD (U) and LJP have appealed people to come to the rally to make it “historic”.

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