PATNA: JDU national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is conspicuous by his absence in the BJP poll posters.
PM Modi is the centrepiece of the posters which are inscribed with the slogan, ‘BJP hai to Bharosa Hai,’ sending out a loud and emphatic message that the party is banking entirely on PM Modi’s popularity.
In full front-page advertisements inserted in newspapers, too, PM Modi’s towering figure hovers over the BJP poll pledge to generate jobs for 19 lakh people and the promise of free anti-Corona vaccine, if the party is re-elected.
PASWAN JAIL THREAT: The knives seem to be already out for Nitish with Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan, while addressing an election rally on Sunday, claiming that the chief minister will be behind bars, if the party comes to power. Paswan has one foot in the NDA alliance and the other outside; he in not putting up candidates in seats which the BJP is contesting, but only against the JDU.
Paswan’s party is perceived to be ‘Team B’ of the BJP and it is an unstated position that there will be a BJP-LJP government once the dust settles.
Referring to Nitish Kumar's 2015 poll plank, when he made seven commitments to the people of Bihar, Paswan asked, "What should we do about those who have done engaged in corruption under ‘saat nischay’? Sent to jail? Sure?"
He went on to add, "Paswan promises you today: whatever corruption has taken place, whether by any official or the chief minister, a probe will be insitituted once LJP's government comes into power; and those found guilty will be sent to jail."
Paswan's remarks come even as RJD leader and mahagathbandhan's chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav told reporters that the people of Bihar nurse a kind of ‘hatred’ towards chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Meanwhile, Kumar on Sunday alleged the liquor lobby was conspiring to dislodge him and helping the opposition. Addressing election meetings at Madhubani, Darbhanga, Vaishali and Muzaffarpur, Nitish claimed a section of society was unhappy with his decision to enforce prohibition and wanted to oust him.
Nitish said a campaign had been launched against him by the liquor lobby and the opposition leaders had promised the cartel that liquor trade would revive in the state. Total prohibition was imposed in Bihar on April 5, 2016, and over 3.5 lakh arrests have been made since then for violating laws.