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Politics
Nitish Kumar urges voters not to let outsiders lead them
09-10-2015

Begusarai: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday seemed to be opening a new avenue in his verbal battle with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appealing to voters at Begusarai district to not let outsiders lead them.

The CM spoke at Ulao village, hardly a kilometer from the venue of Modi’s rally on Thursday. Party insiders admitted that this was not a coincidence – that replying to PM’s barbs was high on the agenda -and Kumar mentioned him first three minutes into his speech.

However, what was more interesting were his closing remarks: “….Bihar will progress on its own efforts. What will these outsiders do? I want to ask you a question, who will take Bihar forward, Bihari or bahari?…. If a Bihari is to take Bihar forward, then a real Bihari is here before you. We don’t need any of these ahari-bahari. Say goodbye to all these outsiders.”

Modi himself had used similar tactics during the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections, when he turned Sonia Gandhi’s Maut ka Saudagar comment into an attack on Gujarati pride.

Kumar even managed to link the beef debate to the Bihari-bahari question. “They don’t have leaders, workers or issues this election. Everything is being imported. This beef, cow slaughter, ideas are being brought from outside,” said Kumar. Accusing the BJP of wanting to divide the society, Kumar claimed that meat production in Gujarat had gone up 234 percent during Narendra Modi’s reign as CM.

“A lot of rumour mongers are going around. They will throw bones there, they will throw meat here. Sometimes they will butcher a pig and throw it. They will to a temple and damage things there,” the CM said, appealing for peace.

Kumar alluded to the PM invoking Bihar’s first CM Sri Krishna Singh in his Thursday speech: “Don’t merely use Sri Babu’s name, understand the work he had done. Modiji, cow slaughter has been banned in Bihar since 1955, which was Sri Babu’s time.”

The CM was clearly itching to talk more about Modi: “Right now, I don’t have time because of the elections. But when I find time, I will go through his speeches and reply to all the mistakes in them.”

He claimed that no one answers in the negative when Modi asks them whether they got electricity because his government had drastically improved the power situation: “Modiji should understand that if I hadn’t taken electricity to villages, he wouldn’t have got so many votes…. If people hadn’t seen his speeches on television, how would they have said, “Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar?” all the time?”

Kumar ridiculed the number of rallies the PM has been attending in Bihar: “At this rate, the next time there is a panchayat election, the BJP will contest under the PM’s leadership.”

The rally ended with an appeal to Bihari pride: “I have not brought Bihar to disrepute even once. If you give me another chance, I will ensure no Bihar resident has to bow his head because of what I do. I will take Bihar’s name further ahead and restore the state to its former glory.” (With inputs from agencies)