Lalu Yadav did nothing for the women of Bihar except installing his wife as chief minister when he himself was jailed for corruption, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Friday, asking voters to not "get misled" by people who "ignored" women and backward classes during their time in government.
"How was the condition of women earlier? They were ignored, nobody paid attention to their issues," he said, attacking the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) at an election rally at Parbatta which will vote in the second phase of state polls on Tuesday.
Hitting out at his jailed rival RJD chief Lalu Yadav without naming him, Mr Kumar said, "When he was sent to jail, he installed his wife (Rabri Devi) on the chair, but did nothing for the welfare of the women otherwise."
Mr Kumar said when was elected to office, he ensured reservation for women in panchayats and urban local bodies, besides providing quotas to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes "whom nobody cared about earlier".
"If Bihar has progressed today, the biggest reason is women's participation. Promoting women is our commitment," the Janata Dal (United) chief said.
Lalu Yadav, who became chief minister of Bihar in 1990, had anointed his wife as his successor after he was sent to jail in 1997 over multi-crore corruption case.
Highlighting the prohibition law and the effect it has had, the chief minister tried to appeal to women voters and asked them to vote first and cook later on election day and also encourage others in their family to vote.
Slamming the RJD over its record on law and order, education, health, jobs and development, Mr Kumar said, "Everybody knows who says what and indulges in what kind of misdeeds. They (the opposition) neither have the experience to work nor the will. They just make hollow promises."
He said it was his government that launched the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project, locally known as JEEViKA, with a loan from the World Bank and the programme has been expanded.
The JDU chief said if voted to power, he will ensure irrigation water to every field and install solar streetlights in every village.
"Earlier even cities did not have electricity, but now we have ended the lantern era and every household gets power now," he said, in a dig at the poll symbol of the RJD which is a lantern.
Speaking about the cooperation between the state and the centre, he said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given several projects for the development of Bihar. If you give us another chance to work, we will take Bihar forward and make it a developed state."
(With inputs from PTI)