Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned in Bihar's Jamui, around 2,000 villagers threatened to boycott the Lok Sabha elections over poor roads. Residents of Dabil village protested with placards saying "Jab Tak Road Nahi, Tab Tak Vote Nahi (No road, no vote) on Thursday.
Jamui is the parliamentary constituency of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan, who won in 2014 with a margin of over 85,000 votes. Chirag Paswan is contesting in the first phase on April 11.
Angry villagers told news agency ANI that many leaders of various parties had promised to build roads but nothing is visible on the ground yet. "Not a single person will cast his vote in the elections as there are no proper roads in the village...During monsoons we face a lot of problems."
Another resident Bharat Mandal added: "Thousands of people are currently living in the village but no one will cast a single vote until proper roads are built...All of us have pledged that "Jab Tak Road Nahi, Tab Tak Vote Nahi (No vote till there is no road). We will not vote in any election - parliamentary or assembly polls - until roads are constructed."
"Women and children have to go through a lot of difficulties because there are no proper roads. Pregnant women suffer the most," said Mira, another resident of Jamui.
Campaigning in the reserved constituency for NDA ally Chirag Paswan, PM Modi on Wednesday said that he needed more time to finish the work he has started. "I don't claim to have finished all the work. When they (Congress) cannot say so in 70 years, how can I make that claim in just five years? A lot has to be done, have potential to do a lot, and for this, there is a need for constant efforts...I also need your blessings," PM Modi said at the rally.
PM Modi attacked the Congress, saying governance goes into reverse gear when the party and its allies were in power. "Terrorism, prices, violence, corruption, black money rise when Congress is in power; the country's prosperity, its credibility, the morale of the armed forces, respect for honesty declines," alleged PM Modi.
NDA rival and Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav hit out at PM Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, after the rally and said: "I feel ashamed, is that how a Prime Minister or Chief Minister or speaks? Nothing about jobs, farmers, labourers or development. They are just talking about meaningless things. We thought Modi ji will come and talk about schemes for Bihar."