NDA will win Bihar with 2/3rd majority: Amit Shah

Hindustan Times, Patna | ByVijay Swaroop and Subhash Pathak
Jun 08, 2020 01:19 AM IST

Amit Shah’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) share power in Bihar.

Union home minister Amit Shah said on Sunday he is confident that the ruling coalition in Bihar will get two-thirds majority in the upcoming polls, setting the stage for the assembly elections due later this year, even though he insisted that the virtual rally, was not about election, but aimed at boosting the morale of the people amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak .

BJP leader Amit Shah addresses the Bihar Jansamvad Rally.
BJP leader Amit Shah addresses the Bihar Jansamvad Rally.

“I want to salute corona warriors who are fighting against the virus by risking their lives — health workers, police personnel and others. I want to acknowledge their contribution,” Shah said at the Bihar Jansamvad rally.

Shah’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) share power in Bihar. The elections are supposed to be held in October-November, but the dates have not been announced.

In his speech, Shah also listed the achievements of the BJP-led central government and the state government led by Kumar, while launching a scathing attack on the Opposition. The BJP is likely to hold 75 such meetings.

“The elections are there. I have full faith that people of state will vote Nitish Kumar to power with two-thirds majority and help form the government again,” he said, praising the chief minister and his deputy, Sushil Modi of the BJP.

The state has moved away from “lalten raj” (lantern rule), Shah said, referring to the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s poll symbol , and added that state now has “LED raj”. Bihar has came out of “Jungle Raj (anarchy)” to “Janta ka Raj (people’s rule)”, Shah said.

Shah also defended the Centre’s handling of the migrant crisis triggered by the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of Covid-19. Without access to food and water, thousands of migrant labourers— many of them from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — who lost their jobs took to the roads after the nationwide curbs came into place in March-end, walking to their hometowns hundreds of kilometres away and triggering a humanitarian crisis. Some died in road accidents, prompting the Opposition to criticise the Centre’s policy on the issue.

“The country respects you...However, those misguiding you, don’t know your value,” he told the migrants, 2.1 million of whom are believed to have returned to the state.

He also detailed the steps by the Centre and the Bihar government to help the migrants, and lauded the state government for attaining high growth.

“Bihar has moved forward under Nitish-Sushil Modi at a growth rate of 11.30 %..,” he said, adding that the growth rate during RJD rule was below 4%.

In 2013, Kumar walked out of the National Democratic Alliance and joined hands with arch-rival Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress . The alliance swept the Bihar assembly elections in 2015, but it collapsed after Kumar returned to the NDA in 2017 and formed the government with the BJP’s help.

Shah also touched upon issues such as the nullification of Article 370 that gave special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir, and also the law against triple talaq.

The Opposition RJD and the Congress, however, launched a protest against the BJP rally. Former chief minister Rabri Devi led the RJD’s protest at her official residence by beating steel plate along with her sons, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav. Youth Congress leaders released black balloons in the air.

“By holding the virtual rally to herald the party’s campaign for the assembly polls, the BJP has reinforced the general perception that people’s plight hardly matters for it,” Tejashwi Yadav, the leader of the Opposition, said.

Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Madan Mohan Jha said: “Thousands of families have been devastated while hundreds of migrants died during their travel home, but the BJP has shown no concern for them.”

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