Bihar polls: Phase I campaign ends

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 26, 2020

BJP National President JP Nadda at a public rally in support of NDA candidates, ahead of Bihar Assembly polls, in Aurangabad on Monday   -  PTI

BJP distances itself from NDA ally LJP in the State, warns electorate of split votes

The campaign for the 71 Assembly seats in the first phase of the three-phase Bihar Assembly elections ended on Monday. The campaign has picked up pace as star campaigners of the ruling NDA and the Opposition RJD-Congress-Left alliance, hit the trail last week.

The BJP, meanwhile, asked people to be cautious against “vote splitters”, apparently to reiterate that it has no business with LJP, an NDA ally at the Centre. Addressing election rallies in various parts of the State, BJP president JP Nadda said some people indulge in conspiracies during elections. “They want to make a dent in the NDA. On one hand, they criticise Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but on the other they praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Nadda said apparently referring to LJP leader and MP Chirag Paswan.

‘NDA is one’

The LJP has been attacking Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the ruling alliance. “We have to remember that the NDA is one. Only the BJP, JD(U), Vikassheel Insaan Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha are in the NDA. We have to guard against those trying to make a dent,” Nadda added.

Apart from reminding the people about the RJD rule between 1990 and 2005, the BJP president raked up issues such as abrogation of Article 370, construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, abolition of triple talaq and amending the Citizenship Act in his speeches.

He said the Opposition was against all such moves by the Centre. He charged that hooliganism was at its peak during the RJD regime. “Kidnapping had become an industry. Bihar was on the path of migration and they are now talking about giving jobs. What development will they bring to Bihar?” he said.

Verbal war

The Opposition, meanwhile, has been focussing the campaign on livelihood issues such as unemployment, crises of migrant workers, management of Covid-19 in the State and plight of farmers.

Nadda engaged in a verbal war with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over the recent enactment of three farm laws. “The Rahul Gandhi-directed drama of burning PM’s effigy in Punjab is shameful but not unexpected. After all, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has never respected the office of the PM. This was seen in the institutional weakening of the PM’s authority during the UPA years of 2004-2014,” Nadda said in Twitter.

He was responding to a tweet from Gandhi asking the Prime Minister to pacify the farmers of Punjab. Citing reports of farmers burning PM’s effigy, Gandhi said: “It’s sad that Punjab is feeling such anger towards PM. This is a very dangerous precedent and is bad for our country. PM should reach out, listen and give a healing touch quickly,” Gandhi said.

Published on October 26, 2020

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