Modi praises Nitish, targets Lalu and Congress

Patna, July 25 (IANS) In a clear bid to divide the anti-BJP opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday lauded Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but targeted his allies RJD leader Lalu Prasad and the Congress on the issue of Bihar’s development.

Modi, who arrived here earlier in the day, referred to Nitish Kumar seven times in his speech here, praising him for his various requests and suggestions related to the development of Bihar.

Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have formed a grand alliance to defeat the BJP-led coalition in the upcoming Bihar assembly election.

Modi, who shared the stage with Nitish Kumar at the Veterinary College ground, admitted that he agreed with the chief minister that railway projects for Bihar started when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister were delayed after the Congress took power in 2004.

But Modi made no effort to spare Lalu Prasad and the earlier Congress-led UPA government – the RJD leader was its railway minister – for allegedly blocking and delaying some projects meant for Bihar.

Modi did not take Lalu Prasad’s name but made references to the railway minister then. But he attacked the Congress by name.

Modi made the comments after flagging off the Daniyawa-Biharsharif railway line and the Patna-Mumbai railway line here.

Modi also blamed the Congress-led UPA government for failing to complete the Barauni fertilizer factory and other projects in Bihar.

Modi was seen regularly interacting with Nitish Kumar during the inauguration and launch of different projects here and at the foundation day function of the ICAR here.

At another venue, Modi said development was the answer to all the plaguing the country ills including poverty, illiteracy and unemployment.

“There is no alternative to development. Development is the answer for all problems,” Modi said.

On a day-long visit to Bihar, Modi was received by Governor K.N. Tripathi and Nitish Kumar when he flew in here.

The prime minister said his government’s agenda was to develop eastern India including Bihar. “Unless Bihar is developed, the country cannot be developed.

“I will announce a special package for Bihar at the right time, not now,” he added.

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