PM rolls out Bihar package; Steps up attack on Nitish

RSTV Bureau

FILE: File Photo of PM Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at government event. Photo – PTI

With the crucial Bihar assembly polls just few months away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a massive Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for the state. Addressing the gathering at a government function in Arrah, PM Modi said that the state will touch new heights of development if BJP is voted to the power.

“I am here today to fulfill my promise to you. I am announcing a package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for Bihar. Now you give me your blessings to change the fate of Bihar… Only development will benefit the state and eradicate its poverty. Bihar will touch new heights of development,” the Prime Minister said while announcing the package for the poll bound state.

PM Modi also used the occasion at Arrah, and later the public rally in Saharsa, to take on the incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing him of putting the “prestige” of Bihar at stake for his own political gains.

“Our chief minister turned very angry and said who is Modi to call Bihar a ‘bimaru’ state. He said with authority that Bihar is no longer a bimaru state. If it is true, then I will be the happiest person. I welcome this.

The BJP is locked in a bitter battle with its old ally and the incumbent Janata Dal (United), who is fighting polls in a tie-up with Lalu’s RJD and the Congress party. Nitish Kumar had parted ways with the BJP in 2013 over the issue of latter naming Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.

“Tell me, if somebody is healthy, will he go to a doctor. If somebody’s stomach is full, will he go anywhere seeking food? I am surprised that on the one hand he says Bihar is not bimaru and on the other he keeps asking for something or the other. Let the people of Bihar decide,” PM Modi added sharpening his attack on the Bihar CM.

The Prime Minister also announced that Rs 1.25 lakh crore package will be in addition to the ongoing development projects worth Rs 40,657 crores, announced previously. In a bid to reach out the prospective electorates, PM Modi sought to revisit his promise of Rs 50,000 crore package made during Lok Sabha polls, saying that he realised after coming to power that the said amount was “nothing”.

The PM also compared the past assistance given by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee NDA government between 1999-2004 and urged people to draw comparison with the assistance given during Congress-led UPA government.

“For political benefits, he put at stake the prestige of Bihar,” PM Modi said taking on CM Nitish Kumar over his current poll-bound political arrangement.

Lauding his government at the Centre, the Prime Minister claimed that the vast amount of work was already being done by the BJP-led NDA government in the field of skilling youth and training women.

Chief Minister Kumar, who had gone to receive the PM Modi at Patna Airport, chose to skip the Arrah function where the PM inaugurated & laid foundation stone of 11 National Highway projects of 700 kms at a capital cost of Rs 9,700 crore.

(With inputs from the PTI and agencies)