Modi Targets Caste Vote in Gaya, Nitish Kumar Pitches 'Vikas' in First Joint Election Rally
Gaya: Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a public rally in Bihar's Gaya district on Tuesday targeted the scheduled caste voters in the constituency.
Taking pot shots at the Congress for ignoring the Dalit and Mahadalit communities he said, "no other party has ignored Ambedkar as much as the previous government has."
He further criticised the Opposition by saying that the Congress party has insulted those who work with cleaners, and brooms.
"Congress says I am the chowkidar of the toilet. When we were thanked by the janitors after washing their feet, the Congress abused us. Is it not an insult to those who clean it? Is this insult granted to you?" said Modi, directly targeting the dominant caste in the constituency.
Modi was referring to his gesture in Varanasi, earlier this year, where while elevating the Swachhta pitch he had washed the feet of five sanitary workers, including two women, — hailing them as ‘karma yogis’.
Interestingly, both Jamui and Gaya constituencies from where the PM launched the NDA campaign in Bihar are reserved seat for the scheduled caste.
Modi also added that "people like Dashrath Manjhi, will teach such people (the Congress) a lesson. The NDA government works with everyone."
Dashrath Manjhi, popularly known as the "Mountain Man" worked for 22 years to carve roads out of a mountain in Gaya. He belonged to the Musahar community, the dominant caste in the area.
Modi also took to task Congress's approach towards terrorism in India. He said, "When the Congress couldn't fight terrorism on their own, they coined the term Hindu terrorism. Congress has also been supporting Pakistan instead of supporting our brave soldiers."
While Modi was seen criticising the Congress, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the same rally enlisted the achievements of NDA in the state.
Taking a jibe at the erstwhile Lalu Prasad Yadav led government, he said, "we have ended the era of lanterns. Now there is electricity in every village in the state."
"Every house will have a toilet by 2 October," he added.
Even though Nitish Kumar did not demand special status for Bihar, he stated that the Central Government has provided all the support for the development in Bihar. He specifically mentioned roads stating that about Rs 50,000 crore was provided by the Centre. "These are the projects which were declared in 2015 under a special package for Bihar," he said.
Nitish also lauded Central schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Ayushman Bharat.