9:37 pm - Thursday November 5, 2015

25 km apart, Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar to address rallies in Bihar

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modi and nitish

Nawada: About 25 km and less than two hours apart, Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi will address rallies today in Nawada in the southern part of Bihar.

The two chief ministers have for years been parked in a vicious political feud. Mr Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, ended his 17-year alliance with the BJP in June last year over its decision to centre-stage Mr Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, as its prime ministerial candidate.

This election, the rivals have fed the meter with frequent and ferocious enthusiasm. A rally for Mr Modi in October in Patna, the capital of Bihar, was preceded by a series of blasts in which six people were killed and nearly 80 injured. Both Mr Modi and his party have accused Mr Kumar and his Janata Dal (United) of deliberate laxity in the security arrangements.

The BJP’s presumptive prime minister has charged Mr Kumar with “betrayal” and exaggerated claims of the development of Bihar. Mr Kumar has reiterated allegations that Mr Modi is a divisive leader, whose record as the man in charge of Gujarat when communal riots tore through the state in 2002 cannot be over-looked.

Bihar elects 40 Parliamentarians. Opinion polls show Mr Kumar taking a beating for his break-up with the BJP. In 2009, their alliance won 32 seats.

Today, Mr Kumar will go first. His rally is scheduled for 1 pm while Mr Modi’s meeting is scheduled at 2:30 pm.

The police has said that security has been amped up considerably for the pit stops by the heavy-hitters.

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