PM slams RJD in Bihar poll rally

Patna: Launching his campaign for the Bihar assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invoked the alleged reign of "crime" and 'loot" during the 15-year rule of the RJD, as he sought people's vote for the NDA to ensure the state's continuous journey towards "development".

In his first rally in the state, Modi sought votes for another term of the NDA government under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying he had been working with the JD(U) president only for the last three-four years and that the state had seen much speedier development in this period.

Nitish had returned to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in 2017 after fighting against it in the last assembly polls in 2015.

A "double-engine" government, he said referring to the NDA ruling at the Centre and the state as well, will ensure Bihar's development at a fast pace.

The Congress-led UPA government at the Centre between 2004 and 2014 put "roadblocks" in the state's development as Nitish was a member of the NDA for most of the time, Modi said.

While the RJD ruled Bihar for 15 years from 1990, Nitish has been the state's chief minister since 2005, barring a brief period when he installed Jitan Ram Manjhi in his place in 2014 for over nine months.

Modi also accused the opposition of siding with forces which are conspiring to weaken India by promising to restore Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir if it comes to power.

Without naming any opposition party, he said their protests against the recent farm reform laws are in fact aimed at "saving" middlemen and brokers while being couched as support for the Minimum Support Price and agriculture 'mandis'.