Modi urges Maoists to shun violence

‘India’s growth will not come about without Bihar’s development’.

October 03, 2015 12:39 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:22 pm IST - BANKA:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Jitan Ram Manjhi, Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha at a rally in Banka on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Jitan Ram Manjhi, Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha at a rally in Banka on Friday.

In his first rally after the Assembly poll schedule was announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday focussed on Bihar’s development and appealed to Maoists to shun violence and join the mainstream.

“Bihar has witnessed feudalism, capitalism, separatism, fascism and nepotism; but, for once you, all should vote for development which will end your miseries,” he said at the well-attended meeting in Banka in the Naxal-affected east Bihar.

Mr. Modi said he had announced a package of Rs. 1.65 lakh crore for Bihar to change its “fate”, but “this is the right of the people of Bihar and I’m only doing my duty.”

“India’s growth will not come about without Bihar,” Mr. Modi said, pointing to the development of the neighbouring Jharkhand after the BJP came to power there. In a recent survey by the World Bank to list the States where the conditions are most conducive to industrialisation, Jharkhand, which had earlier ranked 29th, bagged the third place. But Bihar was still stuck at the 27th. “I promise you to develop Bihar if the NDA comes to power here,” he said.

Comparing Jharkhand and Bihar on health indices, the Prime Minister said: “Like Bihar, Jharkhand suffers from the deadly kala-azar (black fever), but in Bihar 300 people have died of the disease, against 21 in Jharkhand.”

Mr. Modi took a dig at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, asking the people whether the Chief Minister could be “relied upon” for the Central government funds for development. “Tell me if the present government deserves even a single rupee. Even if it is given, what is the guarantee it will not return it,” he asked. The comments were in reference to Mr. Nitish Kumar returning to the Modi-led Gujarat government Rs. 5 crore donated for the victims of the Kosi river floods in 2008.

“It was the money collected by the people of Bihar living in Gujarat for the victims of the Kosi floods, but Mr. Nitish Kumar returned it. No one can rely on him. You all know what he did to Jitan Ram Manjhi,” Mr. Modi said. (Mr. Nitish Kumar returned as Chief Minister after removing Mr. Manjhi from the post.)

Mr. Modi appealed to the Maoists to shun violence and join the mainstream. “Bullet only brings destruction, while ballot brings development. Believe in ballot and shun bullet. On Gandhi Jayanti, I appeal to the Maoists to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream to change the fate of your constituency,” he said.

He listed his government’s programmes for developing Bihar. “My government has worked out plans to supply electricity 24 hours all 365 days and houses to the poor,” he said, asking the crowd whether the “Chief Minister has provided electricity to all as he had promised.” When the crowd yelled ‘no,’ he asked: “Hasn’t he cheated you.”

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