Campaigning in the first assembly election amid the coronavirus outbreak was marked by high-voltage rhetoric. From Chirag Paswan hoping for a "#Nitish-free government' to PM Narendra Modi warning voters against those who made Bihar 'Bimaru', barbs flew thick and fast. News18 looks at five such statements that, in some measure, give a sense of the sort of campaign that Bihar saw over the past one month.
"Mera pehla kalam chalega to ek saath dus lakh yuvaon ko sarkaari naukri milega": Tejashwi Yadav
This one poll statement can be credited to have, in many ways, set the agenda of this election. So potent was the response to the issue of unemployment that Tejashwi Yadav led with in this campaign that after ridiculing him for promising the moon, BJP itself came out promising almost double the number of jobs. Tejashwi's agenda remained at the top when Nitish Kumar mocked him, saying: “If you give jobs to 10 lakh people on the very first day of taking over as Chief Minister, how will you pay them? ‘Nakli note chaapoge? Ya jail se paisa aayega?’ (Will you publish fake currency? Or, will you bring fund from the jail)?”
"Agar padhna chahte ho toh apne baap se pucho…apni maata se pucho…kahin koi school tha, ya ban raha tha": Nitish Kumar
In a way, the campaign led by Nitish Kumar was marked by several bitter and personal remarks that sounded quite unlike him. The other one was "8-8, 9-9 bacche paida karne waale vikas ki baat karte hain". In the campaign, which he described was the last of his career, Kumar, in opposition to Tejashwi Yadav's 10 lakh jobs promise, brandished his second installment of '7 Nishchay' -- the first of which he released in 2015 assembly elections. As part of this program, Kumar promised financial incentive of Rs 25,000 for girls passing Class 12 exams and Rs 50,000 for those passing graduation, 50 per cent grants for entrepreneurs, up to a maximum of Rs 3 lakh for setting up a new business. He also talked about Lalu-Rabri's 'Jungle Raj' in all his rallies.
"Nitish Kumar will be next Chief Minister of Bihar": Amit Shah
In an interview to News18, home minister and former party president Amit Shah officially put an end to all speculations about strife between the two ruling coalition partners - BJP and JD(U). No matter which NDA constituent, BJP or JD(U), got more seats, NDA's choice of CM will not change, Shah clarified. "I have said this publicly as party chief. Naddaji [JP Nadda, the present BJP national president] has also said this. So there are no two ways about it, no doubts about it. Elections are being fought in Bihar under the leadership of Shri Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi is NDA's tallest leader. Whatever rumours are being floated, I want to put a full stop to them. Nitish Kumar will be the next Chief Minister of Bihar," Shah said in his exclusive interview with Editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi.
"Every ‘Biharwaasi’ will get free [Covid-19] vaccination”: BJP manifesto
While introducing her party's manifesto in Patna on October 22, Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the part of the 11-point 'Sankalp Patra' released by BJP, which promised free Covid-19 vaccination for all Biharis when NDA comes to power. The promise generated a huge controversy with opposition claiming that BJP was trying to sell the vaccine, which was the right of every Indian, for votes. RJD said that this poll promise showed desperation of BJP. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also taken potshots at the ruling party. In a tweet, Gandhi had said: “GOI just announced India’s Covid access strategy. Kindly refer to the state-wise election schedule to know when you will get it, along with a hoard of false promises,” Gandhi had tweeted.
"Fir Ek Baar NDA Sarkaar": Narendra Modi
This is what PM Modi said in his first rally at Sasaram. In his latter rallies, PM Modi talked about the opposition being against Lord Ram. “Those who have tied up with the Jungle Raj people, you know what they want...They do not want you to chant ‘Bharat Maata ki jai’. There are such people who develop fever every time they hear this slogan,” Modi said. There was also his "double Yuvraj" jibe at Tejashwi and Rahul Gandhi. The biggest crowd puller in the NDA's list of star campaigners, whose mere presence on the ground is believed to sway elections, tried to steer the assembly elections towards national issues such as article 370, China and farm laws, and described the opposition leaders as "obstructionist".