As Polls Near, Nitish Kumar Goes On The Attack, Targets Tejashwi Yadav

With Bihar Assembly elections nearing, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hit out at the opposition without naming the RJD's Tejashwi Yadav

As Polls Near, Nitish Kumar Goes On The Attack, Targets Tejashwi Yadav

Nitish Kumar said he would let his government's track record over the past 15 years speak for itself

Patna:

The Bihar Assembly elections - due by November - are likely to be a straight battle between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav. And Mr Kumar made it clear today he will seek votes based on his government's track record over the past 15 years.

"The people have seen my work and I hope they will reward our performance by giving yet another extension to us," he said.

Earlier today Nitish Kumar inaugurated state government projects completed during his current term in power.

In a departure from the normal, during the event the Chief Minister hit out at Tejashwi Yadav, but without taking the RJD leader's name. Mr Kumar said that those who resorted to tweets to mislead the people needed to introspect and remember how Bihar was governed between 1990 and 2005.

During the period mentioned Bihar was ruled by Tejashwi Yadav's father Lalu Prasad Yadav and his Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Lalu Prasad, in jail over a corruption case, and his wife Rabri Devi, each served two terms as chief minister punctuated by spells of President's Rule.

"Bihar will be a developed state. That is our resolve and commitment. The people gave us a chance and we did our best to serve them. Unlike the opposition, where only family members are promoted, for me each and every citizen is part of my family," Nitish Kumar said.

The comment was another swipe at Tejashwi Yadav and his brother Tej Pratap Yadav, both of whom were inducted into Nitish Kumar's cabinet in 2015 (when the Chief Minister's JDU and the RJD were allies).

Nitish Kumar ended that alliance two years later to get back with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP.

The posts were awarded to Lalu Yadav's sons were at the expense of veteran leaders within the RJD, like Abdul Bari Siddiqui. Tejashwi Yadav was made Deputy Chief Minister and his brother held the Health and Environment portfolios.

As the Assembly elections draw closer, Tejashwi Yadav has stepped up his own attacks on the Nitish Kumar government.

On Sunday he hit out at the slew of development projects unveiled for Bihar in the past few days, calling them "grandiose PR exercises" and saying that they were poor substitutes for good governance - a swipe at Nitish Kumar's moniker of "sushasan babu (Mr Good Governance).

Mr Yadav told PTI the election would be between "unemployed youths, pro-democracy and pro-Constitution forces versus an authoritarian, divisive and anti-constitution regime".

Elections for the 243-member Bihar Assembly are due by November; the current Assembly's tenure ends November 29.

With input from PTI