File image: PM Narendra Modi
Addressing an election rally in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur on October 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said maintaining good governance under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is necessary for the state’s progress.
The Centre has many plans for Bihar which will bring more peace and prosperity with Kumar at the helm in the state, the prime minister said.
Highlighting initiatives undertaken by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government towards Bihar's development, the prime minister said that this election is an opportunity to re-elect those who pulled the state “out of darkness”.
Targeting the opposition, PM Modi warned voters that Bihar could face a double whammy “if proponents of 'jungle raj'” returned to power during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
PM Modi takes ‘yuvraj of jungle raj’ jibe at Tejashwi Yadav
“You can imagine what will happen to the funds for COVID-19 if they (opposition) come to power... Given their past record, what else can people of Bihar expect from the ‘Yuvraj (prince)’ of ‘jungle raj’? You know them better than I do,” PM Modi said, without naming Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav. The ruling alliance has repeatedly targeted RJD over the state's law and order situation during its previous tenure, claiming there was ‘jungle raj’.
“Your vote will help stop Bihar from becoming beemaar (sick) once again,” PM Modi added.
Follow LIVE updates of the Bihar election campaign here
In an apparent reference to Yadav's poll promise of 10 lakh permanent government jobs if his party was voted to power, the prime minister said, “The party which is infamous for shutting down Bihar’s industries, from whom investors maintained distance, is today promising development to the people. Let alone government jobs, if they come to power, even private companies will flee Bihar”.
"Companies will shut down their offices and run away. Extortion calls will be made by those patronised by the party which has a copyright over kidnappings," PM Modi added, apparently referring to the 15-year RJD rule when the party in power often faced accusations of being in cahoots with criminal gangs.
In another rally in Darbhanga earlier in the day, PM Modi said voters have resolved to defeat those who brought 'jungle raj' and looted the state. He also highlighted initiatives undertaken by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the state.
Also read: Will Chirag Paswan’s LJP be able to make a dent?
Voting for electing the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly is happening over three phases, amid the pandemic. The first phase was held on October 28. Counting will take place on November 10. The term of the state’s Legislative Assembly is scheduled to end on November 29.
As many as 94 constituencies will head for polls in the second phase on November 3. This will be followed by voting in 78 seats in the final phase on November 7.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) and its allies, including the BJP, are aiming to retain power in the state. The ruling coalition is being challenged by the ‘Grand Alliance’, or the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, comprising Tejashwi Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and other smaller parties. Yadav is the opposition alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.
(With inputs from PTI)Bihar Election 2020: Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage here