Bihar has made up its mind to reelect the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this morning as he visited the state for the fourth time after the start of a fierce election campaign last month. His remarks came amid voting in 94 of the state's 243 assembly seats for the second of the three-phased state polls, the biggest in India since the novel coronavirus pandemic began.
"Bihar has given a clear message, on the basis of the initial information we're getting, that the state has decided to reelect the NDA government," the Prime Minister, who is the de-facto face of the NDA even though it is led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar, said while addressing a poll rally.
In a barb at the RJD-led opposition Grand Alliance, the Prime Minister said: "Those who brought jungleraj into Bihar (RJD)... their associates... what do they want? Do you know? They want that you don't chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'. On this auspicious land, where Goddess Chhathi is worshipped, is it possible that people won't chant for the nation?"
Without taking names, he continued: "One group says- 'Don't chant- 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', other one says it gives them a headache. Now, they've come together to seek votes from the people of Bihar. They don't want you to chant 'Jai Sri Ram'."
The return of the "double-engine" government will help the state progress at a faster pace, PM Modi said, in an attack on the opposition's chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav, who often mocks Nitish Kumar over the phrase. Repeating his "double yuvraj" jibe at Tejashwi Yadav and Congress's Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister asserted "they've been rejected by the state."
Spearheading the NDA attack, PM Modi has so far held 12 rallies in the state. While he has been campaigning with Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar - seeking a fourth term as the chief minister - he hasn't once attacked Chirag Paswan, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader who is ranged against the NDA and is fighting Nitish Kumar while swearing loyalty to PM Modi and the BJP.
"Some people have a problem... they say 'why does Modi win elections?'... Modi wins elections because he works to resolve the issues of all the (poor) mothers and sisters... That's why they bless Modi... This son has dedicated his life for the poor," the Prime Minister said. He took a sharp dig at the Congress and said the party "has reached a stage where they don't even have a total of 100 seats in parliament".
The last phase of the state elections will be held on Saturday; votes will be counted on November 10.