Banka/Bhagalpur: Beginning his election tours with a public meeting at Banka, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday alerted people not to fall in anybody's "publicity trap" else while their income would multiply but that of the common man would slide as was the case before the present dispensation came on the scene. He cautioned people that any error in making a right decision while casting vote would pave way for return of condition that prevailed 15 years before the NDA assumed reins of the state in 2005 end.
After launching campaign for Bihar polls on Monday with a virtual rally and addressing two more digital rallies Tuesday, Kumar started addressing election meetings physically with a public meeting at Balua maidan in Banka district during the day. From there he flew to Bhagalpur to address a second rally at Sultanganj and after that another one at Munger and the last in Mokama in the outskirts of Patna.
On return to the state capital, he addressed a virtual rally from the party headquarters in a bid to reach out to maximum number of people during the election. Reports from ground zero suggested that while the CM and others sitting on the dais wore masks and maintained social distancing norms to ward off danger of spread of deadly coronavirus, among the general public who had turned up in good numbers in the rallies many were sighted without mask and standing in close proximity to each other.
Seeking vote for his party candidates, Kumar who heads the ruling Janata Dal (United), listed achievements of his governments in the last 15 years and reeled out figure to compare them with the situation prevailing in the state for an equal amount of time before that. The RJD was in power in Bihar from 1990 to 2005. Kumar is at the helm of state affairs since then.
Kumar has already made it clear that "15 years vs 15 years" would be the dominant narrative in the present state elections. "Look at the work and don't fall in anybody's publicity trap else while their income would multiply but yours would come down as was the case 15 years before we came on the scene to reconstruct Bihar," the JD(U)'s star campaigner said.
Making a scathing attack at his bete noire Lalu Prasad, Kumar said "some people work only for their wife, sons and daughters while for me the entire Bihar is the family for whom I work day and night." While, Prasad two sons and eldest daughter are occupying prominent posts in the party and also holding constitutional positions, neither Kumar's lone son nor any other members of his family are active in politics. Kumar's wife has already died.
The RJD supremo's younger son Tejashwi Yadav has been accepted as their chief ministerial candidate by the Grand Alliance partners. "Apne liye kaam karne wale andaar hai (those who work for themselves only are behind the bars today because of their deeds," he said while taking a veiled dig at Prasad.
Prasad is in jail in Ranchi after conviction in four cases of the multi-crore rupees fodder scam. Taking a jibe at the opponents, he said "while we will work for Bihar, they will work for upliftment of their family. We will work for progress while they will spend time on 'satyanash' (destruction) of the state." The JD(U) president reiterated that if voters give him another chance, his government would unroll "Saat Nischay" (Seven resolves) part II, to take up more developmental programmes in the state.
Seven resolves part I, launched by the Kumar administration for its 2015-20 term, comprised seven schemes to ensure basic necessities such as supply of piped drinking water, construction of toilets and concrete drains and electricity connection to every household. Most of the projects have been completed. Its second part will focus on enhancing skill of youths to brighten their jobs prospect, promoting entrepreneurship among women by providing them financial assistance, irrigation facility to every agriculture field and additional health facilities for people and animals.
He made special mention of work done for empowerment of women by giving them 50 per cent reservation in election to panchayats and urban local bodies and earmarking 35 per cent jobs for them in the state government.