Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah has blown the poll bugle in Bihar and has kick-started the party’s campaign in the state which is all set to go into elections later this year. Already being counted as a success by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party’s “Jan Samvad” programme has so far received 14 lakh views on Facebook, 1.40 lakh on YouTube and is being followed by 66,000 people on Twitter.
Shah, however, termed the rally “non-political” and said that it was just an attempt to connect with the people. “This is not an election rally. This is a virtual rally to boost the morale of the public against the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. “I want to salute the crores of corona warriors who are fighting against the virus by risking their lives. Health workers, police personnel and others, I want to acknowledge their contribution.”
Putting aside speculations of rift between the BJP and its ally, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Shah showered praises on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Sushil Modi. “The elections are there. I have full faith that the people of the state will vote Nitish Kumar to power with a two-third majority and help form the government again,” said Shah, as he went on to list the achievements of the Centre and the state government.
Shah also praised Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar Modi “for leaving no stone unturned” to extend relief to the migrants. “Bihar government didn’t hesitate in providing relief. The state government had so far spent Rs 8,538 crore during in providing relief during the current corona crisis. Most of the people who returned by special trains were quarantined for 14 days. The government spent Rs 5,300 per person at a quarantine centre,” he said.
The virtual rally was attended by Bihar BJP leaders at the party’s office in Patna including Sushil Modi, Mangal Pandey, Bhupendra Yadav, among others. Through this rally, the party attempted to connect with 72,723 booths in Bihar. With these efforts, the party is trying its best to bring achievements of the Modi government like construction of Ram Mandir abolition of Triple Talaq, Citizenship Amendment Act, removal of Article 370, etc, before the people.
During the rally, Shah also reiterated the direct benefit schemes of the government. The party has planned over 150 such rallies across constituencies in Bihar in the coming days.
To counter the BJP, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) also organised “Thali Pito” programme and highlighted the crisis of migrant labourers in the state. Bihar’s opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, former Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi beat plates (thalis) outside their residence in Patna to bring attention towards the pathetic conditions of migrant labourers.
While taking a dig at the RJD’s programme, Shah drew a comparison between Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar’s regime and said that the latter has led Bihar from the lantern age to the LED age and also from “jungle raj” to “janta raj”. He also took potshots at the prolonged absence of Tejashwi Yadav from the state during the lockdown phase.