Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published: June 8, 2020 1:43:28 am
Amit Shah virtually addressing the people of Bihar. (Express Photo)
Addressing a virtual rally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke of Bihar’s journey from “lantern to LED” and asserted that the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government would return to power with two-thirds majority.
The senior BJP leader said the virtual rally was a “way to connect with party workers up to the booth level and the people of Bihar”. Asserting that it is not an election rally, he slammed Opposition parties for calling it so.
The Bihar Assembly elections are due in October-November.
“This rally is aimed at connecting people with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The BJP will have 75 such meetings,” Shah said in his address.
He said the Centre helped more than 1.25 crore migrants return to their home states during the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that migrants from Bihar had to be “respected as they had contributing to building other states with their blood and sweat”.
He said, “It did hurt to see people start walking for their homes, but we immediately arranged buses and later ran Shramik special trains. Indian Railways bore 85 per cent of the cost of fares and we could help about 1.25 crore migrants reach their homes.”
Shah congratulated the combined leadership of CM Nitish Kumar and his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi for dealing with Covid-related and migrants’ issues. “The Bihar government alone spent Rs 8,538 crore for relief of its people and migrants who returned to the state,” he said.
The home minister said the Bihar government had taken GDP growth of 3.9 per cent in RJD-Congress rule to 11.3 per cent under Nitish-led NDA government. “The state budget size has gone up from Rs 23,800 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 2,11,761 crore in 2020-21. Electricity supply is available to 100 per cent households now as against 22 per cent availability in RJD rule,” said Shah, challenging the RJD to offer any other comparative data.
Naming Nitish thrice in his speech, Shah said: “Though this is not an election rally, Nitish Kumar-led NDA will return to power with two-thirds majority… Bihar is a journey from lantern to LED.” Shah, however, did not mention LJP, another NDA partner.
Speaking about the Centre’s contribution to Bihar, Shah said Rs 354.5 crore had been transferred to Jan Dhan accounts of 2.38 crore people, LPG cylinders worth Rs 630 crore had been given to 84.4 lakh beneficiaries. “Now with ‘one nation, one ration’ scheme, people will get their share of subsidised grains wherever they are in the country.”
Shah added that a contentious issue like Ayodhya was resolved because the central government made a strong case for Ram’s birthplace in the court. He also said that no one would have thought that special status for J&K could be abrogated.
The Bihar BJP claimed that seven party workers watched the virtual rally at each of the 72,000 polling booths, besides thousands from the electorate in Bihar on YouTube, Facebook Live and NaMo app.
RJD Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who got his party workers to beat plates outside their homes before Shah’s virtual rally, said: “The NDA government does not bother about the poor whose plates are empty. We are opposing the BJP’s virtual rally as it is insensitive to think of elections when Covid cases are surging in Bihar.”
Deputy CM Sushil Modi said: “It is Laluwad versus Vikaswad in Bihar… RJD is now beating plates. Do they know the state government spent Rs 5,700 on each migrant who returned home?
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