BJP president J P Nadda Tuesday termed Bihars five-party 'Mahagathbandhan' an unholy and unnatural alliance that seeks to divide society and spread unrest. Branding the Congress party as "anti-national", Nadda said its leaders were praising Pakistan when an election is under way in India.
The RJD-led Mahagathbandhan or grand alliance also includes the Congress and three left parties - CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML. "Though the influence of the CPI and CPI-M has waned, the CPI-ML still has some pockets of influence in the state. This CPI(ML), RJD, and Congress alliance is not a natural alliance. It is an unholy and unnatural alliance. They don't have love for the society. They divide the society and spread unrest. We have to get rid of this unholy alliance," he told election rallies in Buxar and Arrah.
Parts of Buxar and Bhojpur district, of which Arrah is the headquarters, frequently saw bloody conflicts between armed Maoist groups, particularly the CPI-ML, and militias of upper caste land owners when Lalu Prasad's party was in power between 1990 and 2005. Nadda, however, made no reference to the LJP, which walked out of the NDA in Bihar and is ploughing a lonely furrow. The party founded by Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan is still a part of the ruling coalition at the Centre but has no minister in the Modi government after the death of Paswan.
Addressing a well-attended election rally in Buxar, Nadda referred to the 'tukde-tukde gang', 'urban naxals', Shaheen Bag protests and abrogation of provisions of Article 370 that accorded special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Nadda, who was born and brought up in Bihar, greeted the crowds in Bhojpuri, and reminded them of their rich culture and heritage exemplified by iconic leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan.
He launched a blistering attack on the Congress at his rally in Arrah. "When the election is on in Bihar, talk about Pakistan. What has Bihar election got to do with Pakistan? But Congress leaders are praising Pakistan. And who is leading them in this praise? Rahul Gandhi," Nadda said.
Rahul Gandhi had on Friday targeted the Centre over IMF's projection that the Indian economy is set to contract by a massive 10.3 per cent this year, saying it was another "solid achievement" of the government. Gandhi had taken a swipe at the government on Twitter by tagging a chart that showed IMF growth projections for 2020-21 for Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India.
The BJP chief said the entire world, including the WHO Director General and the United Nations Secretary General, had lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for managing the COVID-19 crisis well in a country of 130 crore people. But our Rahul Gandhi talks about Pakistans handling of COVID-19, Nadda said, and accused the former Congress president of "speaking the language of Pakistan and separatists".
He also assailed senior Congress leader P Chidambaram for his assertion that the party stood for restoration of Article 370. "Let alone restoration of Article 370, people will not leave you in a position to be in the opposition, what to talk of forming the government. We know that well, he asserted.
He took a swipe at the RJD over its leader Lalu Prasad cooling his heels in jail following his conviction in fodder scam cases. "We only see Tejashwi Yadav on RJD posters these days.
His son has removed Lalu Ji from party posters because people know there will not be a 'loot raj or lalten raj' again. There will be (PM) Modi's LED raj," he said. Lantern is the RJD's election symbol. Nadda said the Centre has distributed 1.95 crore LED bulbs in Bihar and 36.6 crore across the country. Is it not a transformation from the lantern era to LED era? The BJP president was full of praise for the Narendra Modi government over the way it tackled the coronavirus crisis and dealt with Chinese aggression on the line of actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
He also touched upon the issue of the Rs 125 lakh crore economic assistance the Centre extended to Bihar in 2015. Nadda extolled the prime minister for bringing about a drastic change in how elections were fought.
The family name, caste were once important but now candidates have to seek votes on the strength of the work they have done for people. Don't elect a leader on the promise of what he will do. Elect them on the basis of what they have done in the past. If they have done good work in the past, they will do so in the future as well, he said.
His obvious reference was to RJD and grand alliance's chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav's promise of sanctioning 10 lakh jobs at the very first cabinet meeting if voted to power. Nadda sought a fresh mandate for the NDA in Bihar so there could be the rule of law and development.
He said those talking about unemployment don't know that the aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative is going to change Bihar. "Now you will not seek jobs, you will offer jobs to others," he asserted.