Latching on to a sting video of a senior JD-U minister allegedly accepting bribe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday attacked rivals Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, accusing them of “insulting” the legacy of Jayaprakash Narayan, who fought against corruption.
Addressing an election rally in Jehanabad, hotbed of Bihar’s caste politics, Modi also reminded the electorate about those in power when the firebrand OBC leader Jagdev Prasad, popularily called the ‘Lenin of Bihar’ was mysteriously killed in 1974.
Seeking to blunt the good governance pitch of Nitish Kumar, chief ministerial candidate of the anti-BJP grand alliance, Modi said when the nation paid homage to JP on Sunday on his 113th birth anniversary, “it is for you to see how those who called themselves his disciples, had come into politics following in his footsteps, and kept on taking his name day and night, observed JP’s anniversary here”.
In a big embarrassment for the Nitish Kumar government, just a day before the first phase of Bihar polls, a sting video surfaced on Sunday showing senior minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha purportedly accepting bribe after which he had to resign.
Referring to the incident, Modi said what was worse that it happened on the birth anniversary of the socialist icon. “This was done by those who used to stake claim to JP’s legacy. Such insult to JP should have never been done.” Linking the incident to Nitish Kumar’s alliance with the RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Modi said,” As long as the BJP was a part of the government, there was no such sting, no such corruption. But ever since he (Kumar) joined hands with that great man, who has expertise in such things, it has begun to happen.”
He also alluded to Prasad’s conviction in a fodder scam case. “Where will you go if this money game goes on. Will you be able to give Rs 4 lakh?” Modi asked the crowd.
Referring to Jagdev Prasad’s killing, he said,”When did the killing of Jagdev Babu happen? Jagdev ji fought for the deprived and was killed.”
The Prime Minister, who has been repeatedly targeting Lalu and Nitish Kumar for aligning with the Congress, reminded people that Congress was in power in Bihar when the leader was killed.
“Jagdev babu was a minister but he was murdered. Who were the people sitting in the government then faced allegations. The voice of the Dalits and the deprived was stifled then,” he said.