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Bihar Elections: Political war gets personal

Sunday, October 10, 2010 02:15:51 PM, IANS

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Patna: The knives are out. As the Bihar elections approach, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and former chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad are launching fierce attacks on each other at every poll rally.

With barely 10 days to go for the first of the six-phased assembly polls, the attacks are also getting personal in nature.

Lalu Prasad, who is the chief ministerial candidate of the RJD, and alliance partner Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan, does not let go any chance to target Nitish Kumar on the plank of development and law and order. On the other hand, Nitish Kumar never fails to remind the electorate about the 'jungle raj' (mis-rule) during Lalu Prasad's reign.

On the first day of his poll campaign Friday, the chief minister attacked Lalu Prasad for trying to divert the people's attention from development as the main poll plank to "fool people". "Bihar is already on the development path and will be a developed state by 2015 if voted to power," he said.

The RJD chief reminded people that real development work was done in Bihar during his tenure as railway minister.

At one meet, the chief minister taunted Lalu Prasad for singing a Hindi film song, that goes: "Mere pairon mein ghungru bandhale to phir meri chal dekh le" (Tie the bells around my feet and watch me dance).

"We are stunned to know that Lalu Prasad is seeking ghungrus for power. How could a responsible politician seek people's blessing for tying ghungrus instead of taking up welfare measures and development," Nitish Kumar has been saying in public meetings in Kosi and Seemanchal region.

In his rebuff, Lalu Prasad said that Nitish Kumar is an engineer but is trying to behave like a doctor. "Nitish is a degree holder in engineering but trying to treat people like a doctor, which is bound to have reactions. Entire Bihar is a victim of this reaction."
He was reacting to Nitish Kumar's exhortation to people that when the medicine suits a patient, the patient does not change the doctor.

Nitish Kumar also said that Lalu Prasad was not to be trusted as he had failed to deliver during his 15-year regime in Bihar. He was reacting to the RJD chief's campaign promise that he would give motorcycles and petrol to students if voted to power.

In return, Lalu Prasad has been repeatedly telling people that Nitish Kumar has cheated them as his claim of development is false. "There is no electricity, people are living in darkness and the poorest of the poor are left in the lurch. Corruption is rampant and crime is growing," he said.

"This time it is a fight to the finish. Give me power once again. You wont be cheated this time. Help me to dethrone the NDA (National Democratic Alliance)," the RJD chief has been exhorting people at public meetings in Kosi belt.

In his bid to woo Muslims, his strong support base in past, Lalu Prasad has attacked Nitish Kumar for "cheating" Muslims. In Seemanchal region, comprising Purnia, Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar districts with Muslim population that would decide the outcome of polls, Lalu Prasad said the hue and cry raised by Nitish Kumar over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's campaigning in Bihar was a "big drama".

"Nitish is sitting on the lap of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) and running the government with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), but is trying to pose as Muslim friendly and a secular leader. But Muslims have realised his real face," he said.





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