Patna : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a ‘virtual’ election campaign in Bihar making a veiled attack against his bete noire Nitish Kumar saying those who ‘betrayed’ BJP will be defeated by people of the state.
The Bihar Chief Minister, who has been opposed to Modi’s style of politics, dumped BJP after his elevation as election campaign chief in his party last month.
Modi talked to leaders of BJP in Bihar over their mobile telephone through audio bridge technology. A total of 1,500 leaders across the state were chosen and they were divided into three groups. He talked to five leaders of each group.
Among those Modi talked to were former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, former Ashwani Chaube, who was stranded in Uttarakhand for some time, state BJP vice president Sanjay Mayuk, MLAs Nitin Narain and Vijay Singh.
Bihar BJP President Mangal Pande told Modi that everyone was talking about the possibility of his becoming Prime Minister.
The chief minister laughed away the suggestion and said price rise was now emerging as a major issue and BJP workers should work hard to fight the Congress-led Central government on this and other issues.
When he talked to party leaders in Arrah, Aurangabad and Baata, Modi appeared to show some geographical knowledge of the areas when he mentioned some of the places. To one of them, he talked about the late JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh.
Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who talked to Narendra Modi over mobile, said the Gujarat CM highlighted the old bond between Gujarat and Bihar and said there cannot be one model of development for the country.
“Even in Gujarat, there are a few places which are less developed than others, for which we have to pay special attention,” he quoted Narendra Modi as having said.
The BJP campaign committee chief said the 1974 movement had started from Gujarat and reached its peak in Bihar.
He also said many Congressmen were against making Rajendra Prasad President “but it was Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who played a key role in making him the President”.
Sushil Modi said he told the Gujarat CM that as he and other Bihar BJP leaders, while moving across the state, witnessed “anger among the people against the chief minister for betraying the people’s mandate”. “The anger among the people is like it was in 2005 when the then Governor Buta Singh had in early 2005 denied opportunity to JD(U)-BJP combine to form government in Bihar,” Sushil Modi said. Wherever BJP leaders went in Bihar, the people flocked in large numbers to show their anger against Nitish Kumar, he told the capaign chief.