War of words ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Bihar

Patna: A war of words erupted between the BJP-led NDA and the alliance led by the ruling JD-U today over prime minister Narendra Modi’s July 25 visit to the State.

While BJP leaders were upbeat about the prime minister’s visit to Patna to inaugurate some projects and attend a public rally in Muzaffarpur, the ruling alliance took a dig at Modi.

The Congress even staged a dharna in the State capital on Friday to protest against the BJP leaders’ alleged attempts to brand these projects as their own.

“Modi’s visit to Bihar will be historical as he would announce a special package for Bihar’s development. His agenda is to develop Bihar,” Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh told the media in Muzaffarpur today.

Radha Mohan Singh is incharge of Modi’s Muzaffarpur meeting, his first in Bihar after he became the prime minister last year.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said that the prime minister might announce the revival or development of the ancient Vikramshila University on the lines of Nalanda University. “Bihar will get a special package gift from Modi,” he said.

Union minister Ananth Kumar, BJP incharge for Bihar polls, said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad had nothing to say but oppose Modi’s visit.

“JD-U and RJD along with the Congress are worried and frustrated in view of Modi’s rally,” he said.

“At last Modi remembered Bihar after 15 months of becoming the prime minister,” Nitish Kumar said.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad warned people that “all this was to make a fool out of them by the BJP like they did last year”.

“Modi’s visit is nothing but to promise dreams only,” the former chief minister said.

Nitish Kumar has already asked the people to remain wary of the BJP as Modi might just repackage projects initiated during the previous government’s tenure.

“People of Bihar wanted to know what happened to the repeated poll promise of granting special category status to Bihar by Modi,” Nitish Kumar said.

“BJP is misleading people by saying they want to change Bihar. But they must explain whether they plan to transfer Bihar to Gujarat and import Gujarat’s ideology here. I am confident it will not happen, we will not allow this,” Lalu Prasad said.

Bihar Congress president Ashok Choudhary said the prime minister was inaugurating projects whose foundations were laid during the earlier UPA government at the Centre.

“The Congress is not against inaugurations by Modi but what we object to is the way the BJP-led NDA leaders are branding them as their own projects to woo people,” he said.

Modi plans to inaugurate the IIT-Patna campus at Bihta near Patna, Biharsharif-Daniyawan railway line and bridge over the Ganga river during his visit. All these projects were initiated by the earlier Congress-led government at the Centre, he said.