PM Modi slams ‘Congress-RJD government’ in Bihar over corruption, praises Nitish

PM slams corruption of Bihar’s previous “Congress-RJD government”; accuses UPA of grabbing land in lieu of Railway jobs, but praises Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for his “blameless” tenure as Railway Minister

Updated - April 04, 2024 06:05 pm IST

Published - April 04, 2024 02:08 pm IST - Patna

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha elections, in Jamui, Bihar on April 4, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha elections, in Jamui, Bihar on April 4, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Kicking off the National Democratic Alliance’s poll campaign in Bihar on April 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the self-sufficient and aggressive nature of the new India under NDA rule.

“India has changed now. Whenever something was happening to the country earlier, [the Congress-RJD-led Government] used to reach out to other countries for help. But today, yeh badla hua Bharat, yeh ghar mein ghus kar marta hai [this is a changed India, which enters into homes to kill),” Mr. Modi said, to the roaring cheers of the crowd at a public meeting in Jamui, made up mostly of young people.

Also read: Lok Sabha elections LIVE updates - April 4, 2024

Enthused by the audience’s response, Mr. Modi asked, “Is this a poll meeting or a victory meeting?”

Corruption record

He also slammed the corruption of the “previous Congress-RJD government” in the State, with no mention of the fact that Bihar was last governed by a coalition that included the Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), but was headed by the Janata Dal (United), which is currently a member of the ruling NDA.

“This Congress-RJD government in Bihar even opposed the Bharat Ratna award conferred on [the late veteran socialist leader] Karpoori Thakur; they opposed a tribal becoming the President of India. This ghamandia [arrogant] alliance wants to keep Bihar in the lantern age,” Mr. Modi said. He quickly added: “We say corruption hatao [remove corruption], they say corruption bachao [save corruption]... Jo garib ka paisa loota hai usko lautana padega. [They will have to return the money of the poor which they have looted.]”

‘Only a trailer so far’

The Prime Minister also listed out the achievements of his government at the Centre. “This 10 years of [NDA] government is only a trailer, a lot of things have to be done to take India and Bihar into the future,” he said. “Poor people’s welfare is the Modi government’s priority. Nine crore people in Bihar are getting free ration and it will continue for the next five years as well; 84 lakh people in Bihar have got Ayushman card [free health insurance upto ₹5 lakh); even two crore animals have been vaccinated for different diseases,” he said, adding, “Jab niyat sahi, to natije sahi (When intentions are right, the results are bound to be right).”

“India is today the world’s fifth largest economy. Our Chandrayaan has reached to the moon and the G-20 meeting held in India recently has become a point of discussion the world over,” Mr. Modi said, adding that “this has not become possible by Modi, but by your vote.”

‘Land grabbers’

He also slammed the previous Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, saying, “They were the land grabbers of poor people in lieu of jobs [in Railways]”.

He acknowledged that JD(U) chief and current Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had been the Railway Minister under a previous NDA regime, but said that his tenure had been “blameless”.

“When this ghamandia alliance was in power, what was the condition of Railways? But today, even people of Bihar are traveling in trains like Vande Bharat,” Mr. Modi said.

Will not go anywhere: Nitish

Mr. Kumar, who shared the stage with Mr. Modi at the Jamui event, reiterated that he would “not go anywhere from here”, in an implicit acknowledgement that he has previously left the NDA several times. “In between, I had gone with those people [the RJD-Congress] for some time, but now, I’ll not go anywhere,” he repeated. Claiming that development work was achieved in Bihar with the support of the NDA government at the Centre, Mr. Kumar predicted that “this time, the NDA will get more than 400 seats in the Lok Sabha election”.

Deputy CM Samrat Choudhary and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan also addressed the meeting, praising Mr. Modi and his leadership.

Within the NDA, the Jamui (reserved) seat has been allotted to the LJP (RV). Mr. Paswan, who is the sitting MP from the seat, has decided to field his brother-in-law Arun Bharti from Jamui for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, while he himself will contest the Hajipur (reserved) seat. Jamui is set to vote in the first phase of polling on April 19.

“You give us your vote and my guarantee will be development,” Mr. Modi assured the crowd.

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