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    PM Modi begins Bihar campaign on Friday, will back Nitish Kumar as CM

    Synopsis

    Modi begins his campaign on Friday from Sasaram, Gaya, and Bhagalpur with Kumar sharing the stage. The BJP is keen to send a message of sizable turnouts to the Opposition, after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s recent rallies created a buzz, although the party would not want to violate Covid-19 protocols, those in the know told ET.

    Agencies
    Modi is also expected to caution people against Covid-19 and exhort them to wear face masks during the festive season.
    NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to cite the development work undertaken by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar during his campaign in the state, where he is also likely to highlight promises made in the NDA manifesto for an Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bihar and remind people of the alleged Jungle-raj and corruption during the Lalu-Rabri regime.

    Modi begins his campaign on Friday from Sasaram, Gaya, and Bhagalpur with Kumar sharing the stage.

    The BJP is keen to send a message of sizable turnouts to the Opposition, after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s recent rallies created a buzz, although the party would not want to violate Covid-19 protocols, those in the know told ET.

    “So, the simultaneous telecast of each of the PM’s rallies will also be done in 100 other grounds in 20 neighbouring constituencies,” a party functionary said.

    Both BJP’s Bihar Unit and the JDU are keenly waiting for Modi to clear the air conclusively on LJP and Chirag Paswan and reiterate what other senior BJP leaders have said about there being no back-hand understanding with the LJP.

    They would also like the PM to stress that Kumar would be chief minister in the event the alliance forms the next government, irrespective of how many seats BJP and JDU win individually.

    “The concern is that LJP may not win many seats but use the confusion to damage JDU in terms of votes and end up helping RJD win the seat,” a BJP leader said.

    Modi is also expected to highlight various central schemes and the development done in Bihar by the NDA, the help provided to people during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as free cylinders, free rations to the poor till the Chhath festival, and monetary aid given to returning migrants.

    The fact that RJD leader Lalu Prasad is in jail and that his face has gone missing from party election posters will be another issue that the PM is likely to rake up.

    “Not showing Lalu’s face does not mean people have forgotten the horrors of his reign,” a party leader added.

    National issues such as the Congress party’s demand for bringing back Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the situation on the Line of Actual Control with China where soldiers of the Bihar Regiment thwarted Chinese designs, the Opposition’s alliance with the CPI-ML in a state that suffered Naxal violence and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s praise for Pakistan’s efforts against Covid-19, could also feature in the PM’s speeches.

    Modi is also expected to cite the work on construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya as a promise delivered by the BJP.

    The PM could cite Bihar’s excellent record in fighting Covid-19, with a nearly 94% recovery rate.

    BJP leaders also said its election manifesto promising free Covid-19 vaccination for all residents of the state and assurance of creating 1.9 million jobs over five years would feature in the PM’s speeches as he has been a strong votary of minimising migration.

    Modi is also expected to caution people against Covid-19 and exhort them to wear face masks during the festive season.
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