Modi Dares Nitish on his home Turf, terms opportunist
Patna – Unfazed by serial blasts at his rally, Narendra Modi on Sunday tore into bete noire Nitish Kumar on his home turf, saying he was an “opportunist” who had “betrayed and backstabbed” Jaiprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and also people of Bihar for Prime Ministerial dreams.
Visiting Bihar for the first time from where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar kept him away during the period of their alliance, the BJP prime ministerial candidate repeatedly attacked Mr. Nitish for snapping of JD(U)-BJP ties in June. He alleged that Mr. Nitish was playing hide and seek with Congress, against whom his mentors JP and Lohia fought all their lives, and was dreaming of becoming the Prime Minister.
“One who shunned Jaiprakash, why can’t he leave BJP. He fought all his life to free the nation from the Congress and the one who claims to be Lohia’s disciple has stabbed him in his back and is now playing hide and seek with Congress.
Whether his followers will forgive him or not, the souls of Lohia and JP will never forgive his deeds,” Mr. Modi said addressing a mammoth public meeting here at the Gandhi Maidan.
Just minutes before he spoke, six serial bomb blasts rocked the venue of the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate’s rally, leaving at least five dead and 66 injured. Modi did not refer to the blasts in his speech but appealed to his followers to reach home safety.
Without taking Mr. Nitish’s name and referring to him derisively as “friend”, the Gujarat Chief Minister attacked Mr. Nitish for not allowing him to campaign in Bihar in the last assembly polls and said he had accepted the “humiliation” for the sake of not allowing “Jungle Raj” in Bihar again.
Mr. Modi vowed to oust JD(U) which had quit NDA opposing his elevation as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.
In his over 40-minute speech, Mr. Modi started with Bhojpuri and intermittently used Maithli and Magehi — the three main dialects of the state.
Taking a jibe at the Bihar Chief Minister, Mr. Modi cited an instance where he and Nitish were sharing a table at a lucheon by the Prime Minister during a meeting of Chief Ministes in Delhi and Mr. Nitish was “not eating and was uncomfortable and kept looking around“.
“I understood the matter and told him, there are no cameras around. You can have your food….There is a limit to hypocracy,” he said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister attacked the Congress saying it was misguiding people in the name of secularism and pitched for Hindu-Muslim unity for the development of the nation, saying neither of them wanted to fight each other and need to together fight poverty instead.
Won’t call Rahul ‘shehzade’ if Cong ends ‘dynastic’ politics
Mr. Modi said he will stop calling Rahul Gandhi as ‘Shehzade’ (prince) if the Congress, whose leaders are “uncomfortable” with this, decides to discontinue its “dynastic rule“.
“Congress ke mitra bahut pareshan hai ki Modi shehzade kyon keh rahe hain… unhe nind nahin aati hai (Congress leaders are troubled with Mr. Gandhi being referred to as shehzade. They are unable to sleep well),” Mr. Modi said.
“Lekin main phuchhta hun ki shehzade kehne ki naubat kyun aai (I want to know why I was compelled to refer him as shehzade?)” he said at BJP’s election rally in Gandhi Maidan, his first public meeting in Bihar in over three years.
Mr. Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, said people dislike dynastic rule as much as the Congress is feeling offended over this.
“I will stop calling shehzade if the Congress promises to do way with dynastic politics,” MR. Modi said.
Attacking the Congress-led UPA, Mr.Modi said democracy has weakened in the country under its rule as four enemies of democracy — dynastic and family rule, casteism, communalism and opportunism — remained prevalent during their tenure.
“There are four enemies of democracy — dynastic and family rule, casteism, communalism and opportunism — and the misfortune of the country is that UPA has simultaneously practised all four vices for power at the Centre,” he said.
“All these four vices have been evident during UPA rule,” Mr. Modi said and criticised the ruling UPA at the Centre for hunger, poverty, and unemployment during its nearly 10-year rule.
Blaming Congress for “sins” of price rise and inflation, MR. Modi said to add to the misery of people reeling under food inflation, Planning Commission had come up with a report which says a person can have two square meals a day for Rs 26.
“Can you get two square meal a day for Rs 26?” he asked, and said that not even a couple of cups of tea could be bought with this much money.
Referring to his own socio-economic background, Modi said the people who are ruling at the Centre “don’t know what poverty is all about, but I know it.”
“I was born in a poor family, and have seen and lived in poverty,” he said.
“I have sold tea at the railway station and in running trains …those selling tea in trains know more about railways than the minister,” Mr. Modi said.