Swabhiman rally: Sonia, Nitish, Lalu show unity against BJP, attack PM Modi for `insulting` Bihar

Swabhiman rally in Patna

Patna, Aug 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday came under scathing attack from Grand Secular Alliance in poll-bound Bihar with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress President Sonia Gandhi accusing him of “insulting” the state and failing to deliver on any of his promises.

In hard-hitting speeches, the leaders raised the issue of Bihari pride and said the people would give a befitting reply to Modi as he had “denigrated the legacy of the state” with his DNA remark.

Sonia alleged Modi government has done nothing other than “show-baazi” despite completing one-fourth of its time. Kumar said Modi had remembered Bihar only now after 14 months as elections are due in the state.
The three leaders, who shared the dias at (Swabhiman) (Honour) rally here in a show of unity, also praised each other, forgetting their past rancour.

“Some people take pleasure in mocking Bihar. Whenever they get opportunity they comment about its DNA and culture. They also call it BIMARU,” Sonia said, targeting Modi.

Describing Narendra Modi government as ‘anti-farmer and anti-youth’ at the ‘Swabhiman Rally’ here, Sonia said that in 14 months tenure of its term which is one-fourth of the total duration of five years, the Union government has virtually acted “opposite to what it had promised during election.”

“You had promised to provide one crore jobs to youth every year…Forget about new jobs you have put a stop on the existing ones,” she said.

About farmers, she said Narendra Modi had promised to enhance Minimum Support Price (MSP) by one-and-a-half times “but acted just opposite to it and is trying to snatch land from farmers to distribute them among a few rich friends.”

The Congress President hailed Nitish Kumar and also Lalu Prasad for taking Bihar forward on the path of development for which, she said, her party had “contributed significantly”.

Demanding that Modi take back his DNA remark, Nitish Kumar said, “This is the place from where Gautam Buddha, Mahavir and Aryabhatta came… My DNA is the same DNA.” “Today when ‘Swambhiman rally’ is being organised in Patna, the PM was forced to bend and retreat his steps on land acquisition Bill,” he said.

Speaking at a rally earlier, Modi had said, “There seems to be some problem with his (Kumar’s) DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy you respect even your political rivals.” A ‘Sabdhwapsi’ campaign was launched by Kumar in a bid to capitalise on the DNA barb against him.

Countering Modi’s comment that the JD(U)-RJD alliance would bring ‘Jungle Raaj-2’, Prasad today termed the JD(U)-RJD-Cong-SP coalition as ‘Mangal Raaj Part-2’.

The RJD Chief said the BJP wants to “create tension between Hindu-Muslim. I know their design. Modi called us “Jungle-Raaj Part-2 but this is Mangal Raaj Part-2,” he said.

Kumar said, “No jungle raj is coming, its only that poor and the deprived have awakened to their rights which BJP is calling jungle raj.”

Kumar displayed bonhomie with “Bade Bhai” (Lalu Prasad) and strongly rubbished BJP accusation of a return of “jungle raj” due to RJD entry.

The leaders asked the people of Bihar not to fall in his “trap” again and made a appeal to the people to ensure the defeat of BJP-led NDA in the state Assembly elections.

Speaking of ‘Mandal Raj-II’, the RJD chief said, “I and Nitish Kumar are two sons of backward castes. After Lalu it is Nitish Kumar.” Prasad also told Kumar that he need not worry about elections as all the four parties together would ensure victory of the secular forces in the Bihar electoral battle.

Shivpal Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad were among the leaders of the alliance present at the rally. In his speech, Kumar defended his decision of joining hands with Lalu Prasad.

“No jungle raj is coming, it’s only that poor and the deprived have awakened to their rights which BJP is calling jungle raj,” he said.

“Lalu ji till date has not told me either to free any arrested person or recommend about any unlawful work… I am saying this with full responsibility,” the Bihar CM said.

Kumar also criticised the Prime Minister on promises related to bringing back black money, jobs to youths and Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package for Bihar, which he said, was “repackaging of old schemes.”

“Government data reveals that in 14-month rule, the Modi government has managed to generate only 2.83 lakh new jobs against poll promise to create 1 crore job annually,” Kumar said.

The Bihar CM referred to the PM’s DNA remark on him and said “my DNA is DNA of Bihar which if full of historical and cultural richness.” The JD(U), he said, would start sending the DNA samples to the Prime Minister from tomorrow for testing.

He also gave a point-by-point rebuttal to the PM’s charge on his government’s law and order front made at Gaya rally.

Nitish likened the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by PM at Ara on August 18 with “fake notes” which “though looks original but does not carry any value in market”.

Prasad also criticised the NDA government on the rising price of onion. He also spoke of a “BJP threat of getting his bail cancelled in a fodder scam case and sending him back to jail” and said he could
not be cowed by such things.

Referring to LJP President Ramvilas Paswan, Prasad humourously referred him as “mausam vagyanik” (weather scientist). He reminded him of his “flaunting” in front of the then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that he was the minister who had quit NDA ministry of A B Vajpayee over Gujarat riots.

Prasad also referred to Mulayam Singh Yadav and said they were together against the communal BJP and RSS.

JD(U) President Sharad Yadav praised his RJD counterpart Lalu Prasad as “garib ka beta” who he said has given courage to the poor. He alleged that BJP would rely on “thaila” (money bag) in Bihar elections and suggested people to “take money from looteras but cast vote for writing a new history in the country against BJP”.

(With PTI Inputs)


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