Level of election debate hits low as state prepares for last phases of voting
GN Bureau | October 30, 2015
As Bihar waits to vote in last two phases to elect its representatives to the legislative assembly, the leaders are letting out their fears and frustrations. In the bargain, the people are being subjected to low level of electioneering.
Take this gem for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Lalu said today that Amit Shah has "gone mad".
"Bilkul pagal ho gaya hai. Poore Bihar ko apmanit kar raha hai. (He has gone mad. He is insulting entire Bihar)... Amit Shah has insulted all Biharis, including Hindus, Muslims, Dalits, OBCs, by terming us as Pakistani. It has again exposed his mindset for us," said Lalu Prasad on Friday.
This comes a day after Amit Shah during his election rallies said firecrackers would be burst in celebration in Pakistan if the grand alliance of Janata Dal (United), RJD and Congress, and not the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, formed the next government. "If the Bharatiya Janata Party is defeated in the Bihar assembly polls and does not form a government, firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan," Shah said at an election rally in Raxaul on Thursday.
Lalu Prasad said, "BJP is not India and Bihar is not Pakistan."
The BJP president said jailed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin would benefit the most if a government led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad comes to power in Bihar. Shahabuddin, a former lawmaker, is currently lodged in Bhagalpur Central Jail.
To this Lalu Prasad said, "it is a below-the-belt attack against all Biharis by Amit Shah. People will teach him and his party a hard lesson in the polls... Such statement of Amit Shah has certain motive to play communal card but he and BJP will not succeed in their design in Bihar".
On the other hand, prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday trained his guns on Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav.
During his election rally in Gopalganj district, Modi picked on the chief minister saying as he has become tired of abusing him he has started abusing the people of Bihar.
“Shrimaan Nitish Babu, winning and losing are part of an election. You have got tired of abusing Modi, so you have started abusing Biharis? Abuse me as much as you want but do not abuse Biharis,” he said.
He accused Kumar of stalling development in the state and said the CM wants the old days of corruption and anarchy back.
“Do you want the old days of atrocities against Dalits, kidnappings, rapes and murders?” he asked.
The PM questioned Kumar on his promise of confiscating properties of people involved in corruption building a school in those premises.
“Laluji went to jail on corruption charges or not? Nitishji please tell us was his house confiscated and a school was opened there or not?” he taunted.
“Some of the members of Nitishji’s cabinet were seen taking money on TV, isn’t this a crime? But do they have any shame?”
“The swelling crowd here shows the mood of Bihar. Bihar is angry because it is asking for the accounts of the work done in the past 25 years, which you are not willing to give,” he said.
Targeting the RJD chief, he accused him of making Gopalganj “a mini Chambal”.
“Bullets were being fired at railway stations during broad daylight and there was only one industry that of kidnapping,” he said.
He said Bada Bhai (Lalu Yadav) and Chhota Bhai (Nitish Kumar) will only work to do good for themselves and the only way out is “Bihar ka vikas”.
“You had faith in me during 2014 Lok Sabha, do the same now and I will finish nepotism and corruption,” he said.
“As voting will start for fourth phase, they will be wiped out from the state. I have full faith that you will give us a two-thirds majority in the remaining two phases.”
India’s 14th president is going to be former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, a dalit. He triumphed over former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar in the vote count that took place on Thursday. Kovind succeeds Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 25. He becomes the
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