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Arun Jaitley slams grand alliance, says 3-legged race cannot be won

Jaitley, whose party BJP was an alliance partner of the JD(U) for a major part over the past decade, was talking to reporters after releasing the vision document of the party for the Assembly polls which promises sops for farmers, students and overall development of the state.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:October 1, 2015, 5:54 PM IST
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Arun Jaitley slams grand alliance, says 3-legged race cannot be won
Jaitley, whose party BJP was an alliance partner of the JD(U) for a major part over the past decade, was talking to reporters after releasing the vision document of the party for the Assembly polls which promises sops for farmers, students and overall development of the state.
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Patna: Blaming the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance for Bihar's backwardness, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday warned the electorate of a return to "anarchy and jungle raj" if it was voted to power but predicted a defeat for the coalition, saying a "three-legged race cannot be run or won". Jaitley said the Congress ruled Bihar for 40 years, RJD for 15, and JD(U) for 10 years, and all these parties were responsible for its backwardness.

Jaitley, whose party BJP was an alliance partner of the JD(U) for a major part over the past decade, was talking to reporters after releasing the vision document of the party for the Assembly polls which promises sops for farmers, students and overall development of the state. "This span of time is very long....the face of Bihar could have been changed during this period, but it was not to be," Jaitley said slamming Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for joining hands with the same parties which had 'ruined' Bihar.

Attacking the grand alliance as a contradictory coalition, he said, "participants of the grand alliance are opportunists. Political consistency is not their virtue. There can be no other result but to push Bihar into anarchy in case they win." "We see such political inconsistency and that is why are seeing such contradictory alliance. A three-legged race cannot be run and even if it is run, it cannot be won," he said, taking a dig at the anti-BJP coalition.

Apparently seeking to give a clean chit to the BJP for any lack of development in the state during the NDA rule, the Union minister said his party was only a junior partner in the Nitish Kumar government for seven and a half years. Maintaining that only the BJP-led coalition has the vision for development, Jaitley cited the example of Madhya Pradesh where the saffron party government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been able to shed the BIMARU (laggard) tag, long associated with the state.

There was no road, electricity, water and health infrastructure in Madhya Pradesh for a better part since Independence, but the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has succeeded in changing the face of the state in the 15 years of BJP rule. "If Bihar continues to languish among the BIMARU category states, the onus lies on Congress, RJD and JD(U)," he said, adding that the poll-bound state fared abysmally on various parameters of development. Industries have not come up in Bihar as there has been no improvement in the power scenario, he said.

Painting a grim picture of Bihar if the secular alliance were to come to power, Jaitley said the Congress' indifferent attitude towards the poll-bound state had been well known as it did not help in fast-tracking development. Nor did RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who was part of the UPA government at the Centre, apply pressure on the government to do something for Bihar. "The 'director and producer' of 'jungle raj' is very much there, he has only changed the actor of the secular alliance, namely Nitish Kumar without changing the character of the alliance," Jaitley said, describing the coalition as an opportunistic alliance.

Jaitley said since the participants of this alliance were politically inconsistent, Bihar would be pushed into the "quagmire of anarchy" again. Explaining his charge of political inconsistency in the secular alliance, Jaitley said the communists joining an ideologically divergent alliance could be understood, but the Lohiawadis (Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar) joining alliance with the Congress was hard to understand.

"There are no ideological similarities among the constituents of secular alliance and their individual political styles are also different," the senior BJP leader noted and described the rival alliance as 'vichitra gathbandhan (weird alliance). Jaitley did not elaborate on the strengths of the NDA, but claimed that the BJP-led coalition would come to power as the strength of the Congress has reduced and the RJD has lost its appeal with the masses and gone back to its "divisive and castiest agendas".

Asked about Nitish Kumar's denunciation of the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the Chief Minister was wrong in questioning from where the funds would come for its execution. He said the resources for it would come from the Government of India and the budget sanctioned for the ministries. About Kumar's charge that Modi had only repackaged old schemes as part of the economic package, Jaitley said the senior JD(U) leader should put this question to Congress. "Ask Congress why it did not complete the projects during its rule," he said.

Amid statements by some party leaders that there will be no no upper caste chief minister if the NDA comes to power, Jaitley, who had helped craft the alliance's success story in the state in 2005 and 2010 assembly polls, said the CM would be chosen from among BJP leaders.

On Lalu Prasad accusing BJP chief Amit Shah of involvement in 2002 Gujarat riots, Jaitley shot back, saying the RJD chief as Railway Minister had set up a probe into the Sabarmati Express fire incident at Godhra that preceded the riots and obtained a 'fabricated' report to frame him. "The RJD supremo should remember that Shah has been acquitted of all charges by a court and that too during the Congress-led UPA rule at the Centre," he said.

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