Banka: Attacking Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he is "too arrogant" to be trusted with governance and asked people to back development agenda of BJP to change the state's fortunes.
Addressing his first public rally after announcement of assembly polls, Modi wooed the youth and the poor promising to address the issue of migration for employment and told them that the solution to all their problems lie in development.
The Prime Minister also took a dig at his rivals for doubting the delivery of the financial package for Bihar announced by him.
"Some people are raising questions on the Rs 1.65 lakh crore package announced by me. They are asking whether it will come or not. Should a single rupee be given to the present government. Will it reach you?
"Even if I give it, his (Nitish's) arrogance is so much that he may even return it. I am worried that even if I give the Rs 1.65 lakh crore to the state, he will announce that he does not require this money as it has been given by Modi. I cannot trust him," he said, recalling that an 'angry' Kumar had returned the Rs 5 crore relief announced by Gujarat for the flood-affected in Kosi.
The Prime Minister also asked former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who shared the dais with him, whether he can trust Kumar after he ousted him from the top job in the state some months after having appointed him.
"Nobody can trust him after what he did to Jitan Ram Manjhi. People of Bihar cannot trust him," Modi said.
He also countered the attack of his rivals on his announcement of a huge package for Bihar, saying he was not doing any favour to Bihar as has been alleged.
"The government in Delhi is not doing any favour to anyone. This is the right of Bihar and its people, which I am trying to provide unlike in the past. I am fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me," he said, adding, "This is not Modi's money, it belongs to Bihar and its people".
Holding that Bihar has seen all kinds of 'isms' like fuedalism, capitalism, separatism and dynastyism, he said, "it is time that people of the state should vote for 'vikasvaad' (development)."
Appealing to youth to turn up in large numbers to cast their vote for NDA in the ensuing Bihar assembly polls, he said stressing that Bihar's development was linked to the country's progress.
Citing a World Bank report on ease of doing business, he said that Bihar continues to lag behind at 27th place among Indian states unlike Jharkhand which was ruled by BJP after bifurcation, progressed from 29th to 3rd place.
Modi also talked about meeting a delegation of people from Bihar in the US during his recent visit and said they were more worried about changing the fortunes of their home state.
Refraining from making any mention of the contentious reservation issue on which BJP is on the backfoot after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks, the Prime Minister chose to keep the focus of his speech on development.
Modi also made no mention of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has repeatedly targeted him on the reservation issue and castigated BJP chief Amit Shah on the issue of communalism.
"These days a lot of games are being played in the name of the poor," Modi merely said. He said that the country cannot move forward unless Bihar moves forward and promised that it was his government's responsibility to do so.
"I have come to seek only one thing from people of Bihar. The nation cannot move forward as long as Bihar does not develop. It is our responsibility to develop Bihar to see the nation's progress.
"You take the decision once, I will always stand by you. I promise I will be ready to serve Bihar all the time and will prove that that the change in the country will begin from Bihar. We have to take Bihar to new heights. That is why I have come here to seek your votes on development and law and order," he said.
Touching upon the problem of Maoist violence in the state, Modi asked youths to shun the path of violence and have faith in the power of ballot.
"Violence never solves any problem. It is the need of the hour to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream... Bullet breeds destruction while the ballot brings out development. That is why I tell the youths to shun bullet and have faith in ballot," he said.
Highlighting Bihar's significance in the country, he said all major movements have begun from the state. He also chose the occasion to refer to the Satyagrah of Mahatma Gandhi that was started from Champaran in Bihar.
Rueing that youth of the state have to go far away looking for jobs leaving their ageing parents back home, he said that he is committed to change the prevailing situation and ensure creation of employment opportunities in Bihar itself.
Countering the opposition attack that his government was working for the rich, he cited a number of schemes like Jan Dhan Yojna, 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', Housing for all and Mudra Bank, saying all were meant to benefit the poor.
He attacked Kumar over the issue of power supply in the state saying the Chief Minister has no right to seek votes from public now. "I am surprised how this government is running here."
Repeatedly referring to the crowd at today's rally, Modi wondered what will be the fate of political pundits."This atmosphere shows that Bihar will celebrate two Diwalis this time," he said.
Major highlights of PM Modi's speech:
* I will stand by the people of Bihar shoulder to shoulder, change in the country will begin with Bihar: PM Modi
* Make your decision once and I assure you I will be with you every step of the way towards development for Bihar: PM Modi
* The people who believe in bullet, they should know it leads to destruction. I want to tell these people to trust the ballot: PM Modi
* Believe in ballot not bullet: PM Modi
* I urge on youngsters who have turned to violence to come into mainstream: PM Modi
* Bihar is on no 27 in ease of doing business while Jharkhand has gone to no 3 from 29 since we came to power: PM Modi
* Bihar has seen feudalism, capitalism, separatism and nepotism. Vote for development this election for once: PM Modi
* Apart from politics and elections, but poor of this country is my preference: PM Modi
* I don't have any trust in current Bihar government. Do you trust them Jitan Ram Manjhi
* The people in power in Bihar are so arrogant that they return any help I provide them: PM Modi in apparent reference to CM Nitish Kumar
* All they were concerned about was how their Bihar is doing. They said they wont be happy until Bihar develops: PM Modi
* I met some Bihar people in the US. I was impressed with what they have achieved, yet there was no arrogance there: PM Modi
* What we are doing for Bihar is not a favor, its your right and you gave me the honor of being the one to give it: PM Modi
* Every movement has started from Bihar: PM Modi
* I want to salute the patience of these people here who waited for the mic to function again. This patience is our strength: PM Modi
* I am grateful I have got the opportunity to come here. This is my first rally after the election dates have been announced: PM Modi
* There will be two diwalis here, one actual Diwali and another for Bihar election victor: PM Modi
* I am told that its after many years that a PM is visiting Banka: PM Modi
Polling in Banka will take place in the first phase on October 12. BJP had lost from Banka in Lok Sabha polls last year and it believes that a Modi rally can help it regain ground there.
Bihar will have five-phase assembly elections between October 12 and November 5 and counting of votes will take place on November 8.