Patna, (PTI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi being welcomed with a garland along with Bihar chief Minister and Senior JD(U) Leader Nitish Kumar and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav during the Swabhiman rally at Gandhi Maidan, in Patna on Sunday. PTI Photo
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today came under scathing attack from Grand Secular Alliance in poll-bound Bihar with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress President Sonia Gandhi accusing him of “insulting” the state and failing to deliver on any of his promises.
In hard-hitting speeches, the leaders raised the issue of Bihari pride and said the people would give a befitting reply to Modi as he had “denigrated the legacy of the state” with his DNA remark.
Sonia alleged Modi government has done nothing other than “show-baazi” despite completing one-fourth of its time. Kumar said Modi had remembered Bihar only now after 14 months as elections are due in the state.
The three leaders, who shared the dias at (Swabhiman) (Honour) rally here in a show of unity, also praised each other, forgetting their past rancour.
“Some people take pleasure in mocking Bihar. Whenever they get opportunity they comment about its DNA and culture. They also call it BIMARU,” Sonia said, targeting Modi.
Demanding that Modi take back his DNA remark, Kumar said, “This is the place from where Gautam Buddha, Mahavir and Aryabhatta came… My DNA is the same DNA.”
“Today when ‘Swambhiman rally’ is being organised in Patna, the PM was forced to bend and retreat his steps on land acquisition Bill,” he said.
Speaking at a rally earlier, Modi had said, “There seems to be some problem with his (Kumar’s) DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy you respect even your political rivals.” A ‘Sabdhwapsi’ campaign was launched by Kumar in a bid to capitalise on the DNA barb against him.
Countering Modi’s comment that the JD(U)-RJD alliance would bring ‘Jungle Raaj-2’, Prasad today termed the JD(U)-RJD-Cong-SP coalition as ‘Mangal Raaj Part-2’.
The RJD Chief said the BJP wants to “create tension between Hindu-Muslim. I know their design. Modi called us “Jungle-Raaj Part-2 but this is Mangal Raaj Part-2,” he said.
Kumar said, “No jungle raj is coming, its only that poor and the deprived have awakened to their rights which BJP is calling jungle raj.”
Describing Narendra Modi government as ‘anti-farmer and anti-youth’ at the ‘Swabhiman Rally’ here, Sonia said that in 14 months tenure of its term which is one-fourth of the total duration of five years, the Union government has virtually acted “opposite to what it had promised during election.”
“You had promised to provide one crore jobs to youth every year…forget about new jobs you have put a stop on the existing ones,” she said.
About farmers, she said Narendra Modi had promised to enhance Minimum Support Price (MSP) by one-and-a-half times “but acted just opposite to it and is trying to snatch land from farmers to distribute them among a few rich friends.”
The leaders asked the people of Bihar not to fall in his “trap” again and made a appeal to the people to ensure the defeat of BJP-led NDA in the state Assembly elections.
The Congress President hailed Nitish Kumar and also Lalu Prasad for taking Bihar forward on the path of development for which, she said, her party had “contributed significantly”.
Kumar displayed bonhomie with “Bade Bhai” (Lalu Prasad) and strongly rubbished BJP accusation of a return of “jungle raj” due to RJD entry.
Speaking of ‘Mandal Raj-II’, the RJD chief said, “I and Nitish Kumar are two sons of backward castes. After Lalu it is Nitish Kumar.”
Prasad also told Kumar that he need not worry about elections as all the four parties together would ensure victory of the secular forces in the Bihar electoral battle.
Shivpal Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad were among the leaders of the alliance present at the rally.
“Two years back when the value of Indian rupee had seen a fall, BJP had launched severe criticism of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh…I wish to ask … when value of Rupee is falling today why is Modiji observing ‘maun vrata’ (long silence),” the Congress chief said in her 15-minute speech.
“Earlier Prime Minister Modi used to lecture on Pakistan. Now when our jawans are being killed on border and people are being attacked, what is his policy on Pakistan? The nation wants to know,” she said.
The Congress chief also referred to Lalit Modi controversy, Vyapam and corruption charges against some BJP Chief Ministers and asked the Prime Minister, “Why you have hit the path of ‘maun vrata’ (prolonged silence)?”
She said unlike communal forces, the bonding of secular alliance parties in Bihar based on “common social thinking” was solid and firm.
As per seat-sharing arrangements, JD(U) is contesting from 100 seats, RJD 98, Congress 40 and Samajwadi Party 5 for the 243-member Assembly. NCP of Sharad Pawar walked out of the combination peeved a being offered three seats.
Their 3 seats were given to SP along with 2 from RJD to mollify Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party whose state leaders were agitating after denial of seat in the original announcement on August 12.
Against JD(U), RJD, Congress and SP’s Grand Secular Alliance, BJP has joined hands with LJP, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi for the state elections.