In a stinging attack on the opposition RJD in poll-bound Bihar, Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday asserted that "riches acquired through the fodder scam" will find no takers among the self-respecting people of the state.
The firebrand BJP leader, who addressed her first couple of rallies in the state, also invoked the imagery of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, and remarked that people knew "she comes carrying the lotus and not the lantern", an obvious allusion to the poll symbols of BJP and the RJD respectively.
"When the self-respecting people of Bihar pray to Goddess Bhagwati, they seek the strength to earn their bread through hard work. They do not seek a share in wealth earned through chaara ghotala", said Ms Irani, in an apparent reference to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is in Ranchi, serving sentences in fodder scam cases.
Mr Prasad's younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, who has been named by the opposition Grand Alliance as its Chief Ministerial candidate, has been trying to woo the voters with his promise of 10 lakh permanent government jobs if the party came to power.
The ruling NDA in the state, which is battling anti-incumbency as well as rebellion from the LJP headed by Chirag Paswan, who has vowed to dislodge JDU chief Nitish Kumar from power, has been going all out to thwart the oppositions attempts to cash in on the situation.
"The people of Bihar know well enough the Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, does not come holding the hand of the Congress", Ms Irani said.