Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday urged the people of Bihar to vote his development-oriented counterpart Nitish Kumar back to power, while underscoring that the BJP, an alliance partner, has fulfilled its promises on emotive issues like Ayodhya, Kashmir and Pakistan. The firebrand BJP leader was addressing his maiden election rally in the poll-bound state in the remote assembly segment of Kaimur district, which shares its border with Uttar Pradesh.
Yogi also sought to strike a chord with the people of Bihar by reminding them ”when millions of migrants were forced to flee Delhi by the Aam Aadmi Party government, we in UP received them with warm water to wash their tired feet and freshly prepared food to nourish their bodies before they undertook the onward journey back home”. The UP chief minister launched a blistering attack on the opposition in the state, helmed by the RJD and the Congress, accusing the two parties of indulging in corruption and placing family interests above people’s welfare.
”So voracious is their hunger that when they were not left with anything else to eat up, they ended up devouring the fodder meant for cattle,” said the Gorakhpur heavyweight, in an obvious reference to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, evoking peals of laughter from the crowds. Referring to RJD’s election posters which mostly carry images of Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and sons Tejaswhi and Tej Pratap, Yogi remarked, ”They can’t part with space on their party banners, how will they tolerate common people demanding their share in power.” Recalling the violence that kept much of Bihar in news in 1990s, Yogi said the opposition combine was ”responsible for massacres as they pitted one caste against the other”.
He also said ”in contrast with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s philosophy of ’sabka saath, sabka vikas’, they were more concerned with who had the first claim on the country’s resources” a veiled reference to a controversial comment by the then PM Manmohan Singh. It was Modi in power at Delhi and Nitish here in Bihar who ensured that all those affected economically by the COVID-19 pandemic received the promised relief, he said.
”We ensured the delivery of welfare measures without discrimination. We also fulfilled our promises be it rooting out terrorism from Kashmir, beating Pakistan on its own turf (’ghar mein ghus kar maara’) or construction of the Ram temple,” said the firebrand BJP leader, referring to Article 370, Balakot air strikes and Ayodhya, evoking wild applause.
Harping on the close social and cultural ties that UP and Bihar shared, Yogi urged the people of the poll-bound state to squarely defeat the RJD-Congress combine, which had preceded the NDA in power, and during its rule ”created a situation wherein people of Bihar used to hide their identity when they moved out in search of better opportunities”.
First Published: IST