Amidst launching slew of economic and infrastructure projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Patna might well have kicked of BJP’s poll campaign in the state. At a gathering in Bihar’s capital city where he shared the stage with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he said that developmental needs in Bihar required a significantly larger package than the Rs 50,000 crore he had promised ahead of the elections last year.
In his words, “Before the Lok Sabha polls, I promised Rs 50,000 crore for Bihar (if elected)…I will fulfill my promise and announce the package at the right time. And I will go beyond what was promised.” That last line kind of put a stop to all speculations and questions which were raised about the authenticity and actual implementation of promises.
Many experts believe that this is almost like a teaser and speculations are rife about several other meaty package announcements. It is understandable why the BJP would be this keen about winning over the Biharis. This is one of the most significant polls for BJP after coming to power 14 months ago.
After the way it was routed in Delhi Assembly Polls, it’s almost the saffron party’s and its chief election architect Amit Shah’s litmus test. Earlier Shah had expressed confidence about winning a majority in the state and had even indicated BJP’s willingness to join hands with other new allies apart from the existing ones. It is particularly significant as Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav joined hands to face the BJP storm.
No wonder announcements and packages and promises of ground breaking offers are going to be the order of the day. Many observers are quick point out that nothing new has actually been promised. All the older promises are rehashed and deliver with fresh packages. As hectic politicking and number games are set to take primary focus, BJP’s desperation and all encompassing win is best projected in Modi’s statement, “”Nitishji said he has high hopes from our government, we are working towards fulfilling the states’ needs by increasing allocation to states. The development of Bihar is our Prime Agenda, development of eastern India is our mission.”
Written by Sumana Sarkar