Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of Ram Mandir in his rally at Motihari's Gandhi Maidan in Bihar's East Champaran district.
"I have come many times to Champaran, in Motihari. But after the construction of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya started, this is the first time I have come among you," said Modi. He added, "After waiting for centuries, this opportunity has come. It has come after a long period of 'tap' (prayers and sacrifices) and 'tapasya' (penance). I congratulate all you friends associated with the land of Ramayan."
The Ram Mandir 'bhoomi pujan' took place in August that paved the way for the construction of the temple. This is probably the first time the temple issue was used so strongly by the Prime Minister.
Referring to the free ration scheme during and after the lockdown for crores of underprivileged Indians, Modi connected Diwali and Chhath -- two prime festivities of Bihar.
"When the crisis of Corona came in the country, first I thought of the village, the poor and the farmers...Free ration was arranged till Diwali and Chhath Puja for poor families... so that they don't go hungry," he said.
While highlighting new and innovative schemes, he focussed on jobs -- something that has become an electoral issue this assembly election in Bihar.
Targeting the RJD-Congress alliance, he said: "It is very important for the youth of Bihar to get good and honourable employment in Bihar itself. The question is, who can provide it? Those who gave Bihar the identity of darkness and crime? Those, for whom generating employment is the medium of earning millions?"
Reiterating his stress on "jungle raj", Modi also took a sharp dig at RJD's alliance with the Left. "Now in this election, the supporters of Maoism and those who want to tear the country apart have joined hands with the people of Jungle Raj," he alleged.
In what has come to be the Prime Minister's favourite political dig this election season, he said that those representing "jungle raj" are concerned about lighting the lantern while NDA is focussed on providing each house with LED.
Lantern has political connotations as well, since it is the RJD's electoral symbol. Moreover, it signifies a bygone era.
He urged people to vote for the NDA for what he calls "Aatmanirbhar Bihar".
Going hyper-local on his self reliant India theme, Modi said, "Be it farming, animal husbandry, fisheries, industries and enterprises related to it, self-reliant Champaran is an important part of self-sufficient Bihar."
He added that a dairy plant has already started in the district.
The second phase of Bihar election is on November 3.