In a veiled attack at the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the “friends of jungle raj” were against the people of Bihar chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Shri Ram”. He also mocked the Congress for its shrinking numbers in the two Houses of Parliament which have dropped below 100, claiming people were punishing the party for its false promises of poverty eradication and farm loan waiver.
Mounting an unsparing assault on the RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar on the last day of his campaign blitzkrieg to power the NDA to a fourth straight term in office, Modi reminded the people of the “jungle raj” the two parties presided over when rampant booth capturing robbed the poor of their right to vote.
Under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he asserted, the state had left behind the “darkness of insecurity and anarchy”.
Modi said the Congress' “false promises” of poverty eradication, farm loan waiver and one rank-one pension for retired servicemen had left people angry.
Tejashwi Yadav after casting his vote during the second phase of the Assembly polls, in Patna on Tuesday
“Now, whenever people get an opportunity, they punish the Congress. Public anger has reduced the party to such a sorry state that it has been left with less than 100 MPs in both Houses of Parliament together,” he said, while addressing an election meeting in Forbesganj town of Araria district. The BJP won nine of the 11 Rajya Sabha seats, results of which were declared on Monday, taking its tally up to 92 in the Upper House and bringing down the Congress’ to 38. It’s for the first time that the Congress has just 89 lawmakers in Parliament.
Addressing the rally when the second phase of the Assembly polls were under way, the prime minister said the voting trend suggested people had rejected the “double yuvraj (two crown princes)”, an expression he has coined for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav.
Modi also said the “friends” of the votaries of “jungle raj” don’t want the people of Bihar to chant “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Shri Ram”. “We have in front of us people who start running temperature at hearing these chants. The friends of jungle raj don’t want people of this land who worship ‘chhathi maiya’ to hail ‘Bharat Mata’ or chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. If they are uncomfortable with those who chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, Bihar is also uncomfortable with them,” he told another rally in Saharsa.
He was apparently responding to the RJD’s ally Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, who recently told an election rally that he goes insane (“dimaag kharab ho jata hai”) when he hears ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Katihar, Purnea and Kishanganj districts adjoining Saharsa have substantial Muslim population.