Bihar Elections 2020: ‘End of lantern era’ and other big takeaways from PM Modi’s campaign debut

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Updated: Oct 23, 2020 5:11 PM

In all three rallies, Prime Minister Modi targeted the opposition parties, mainly the RJD which ruled Bihar for over a decade. He blamed the RJD for pushing Bihar into darkness by letting criminals and extremists operate without fear of law. It was, he said, complete lawlessness (known as jungle raj) under previous governments in Bihar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar

 

Bihar Election 2020: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday kick-started his election campaign by holding three back-to-back rallies in Bihar. His first rally was in Sasaram, second in Gaya and third in Bhagalpur. In all three rallies, he targeted the opposition parties, mainly the RJD which ruled Bihar for over a decade. He blamed the RJD for pushing Bihar into darkness by letting criminals and extortionists operate without fear of law. It was, he said, complete lawlessness (known as jungle raj) under previous governments in Bihar. He also said that parties or leaders who are projecting themselves as leaders for the future were greedy and won’t deliver on jobs as they had a history of turning employment opportunities into a money-making (bribe) industry. “Bihar is entitled to employment and entrepreneurship. Who can ensure this? Those who consider giving government jobs as a means of earning bribes or those who are working to improve Bihar’s Ease of Doing Business and Skill Mapping,” the Prime Minister said in Bhagalpur.

Here are five key takeaways from the three rallies addressed by PM Modi

Invoking Bihari pride

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Bihari pride by recalling the valour of soldiers from Bihar during the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese and Pulwama attack carried out by a Pakistan-backed terror group. In the Galwan clash, Indian and Chinese soldiers indulged in violent fist-fighing in which 20 jawans of Bihar Regiment attained martyrdom. However, it was reported that Indian soldiers had caused heavy casualties on Chinese side. Today, the Prime Minister remembered the soldiers and said sons of Bihar lost their lives in Galwan Valley for the tricolour but ensured mother India’s head is held high. “Jawans of Bihar were also martyred in Pulwama attack. I bow my head at their feet and pay respects,” PM Modi said in Sasaram.

Era of lantern over

Prime Minister Modi said that the people of Bihar have made up their mind to elect the NDA government and the days of the lantern — also the election symbol of RJD — were over. He said there was a period when electricity only graced the homes of well-to-do families. Poor people relied on ‘diya’ and ‘dhibri’. “Today every poor household in Bihar has an electricity connection, it is bright. The need for lanterns in today’s Bihar is over,” he said.

UPA blocked Nitish from working

Prime Minister Modi today said that the Congress government in the Centre had blocked Nitish Kumar from working out of vengeance as the people of Bihar threw it out of power in the state. In an apparent reference to RJD-Congress alliance, the Prime Minister said that “these are the people who stalled every project of Bihar. In 15 years of their rule, they looted Bihar. You had given them power but they used that power to fill their coffers. They (Congress-RJD) got frustrated when you elected Nitish Kumar. After this, for 10 years, these people while being in power in the Centre vent out their frustration on the people of Bihar.” “When I was Gujarat chief minister and Nitish Ji attended UPA’s central meetings, Nitish Ji always told them – don’t stall Bihar’s development. But for 10 years, those who were defeated in Bihar were angry, they influenced the Centre and ensured Nitish ji cannot work. They wasted Bihar’s 10 years,” PM Modi said.

Opposition to Article 370

Prime Minister Modi also attacked the opposition parties for seeking restoration of Article 370 and withdrawal of three Farm Laws. He said that the NDA government abrogated Article 370. “These people say they will bring it back if they come to power. After saying this they dare to ask for votes from Bihar. Is this not an insult of Bihar? The state which sends its sons and daughters to the borders to protect the country,” the Prime Minister said.

Opposition misleading on MSP

The Prime Minister hit out at the opposition parties for misleading farmers on minimum support price (MSP). He said the opposition did not care about the farmers but the middlemen and brokers who will get badly hit by three farm laws passed by Parliament. “Mandis and MSP are just excuses, they actually want save the brokers and middlemen….when Rafale planes were bought, they were still speaking the language of middlemen and touts,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister also said it was the NDA government which implemented the recommendation of giving MSP to farmers at one and a half times the cost. “It is the NDA government that has laid great emphasis on both government procurement centers and government procurement. They (Congress) do not have the answer till date, when they were in government then why did not they decide on MSP? Why so little grain was purchased from farmers in these times? Why these people did not care about farmers, farmers of Bihar,” he said.

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