‘Economic package by Modi was a poll gimmick’

Nagpur: Firing a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Bihar poll debacle, disgruntled BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has said the “credit” for the seats won by the party in the state goes to Modi and claimed that his attack on Lalu Prasad backfired.

Sinha also said that Bihar voters had understood that the announcement of economic package by Modi was a “poll gimmick”.

“All the credit goes to Modiji for the number seats won by BJP in Bihar and there should not be any doubt about it,” Sinha said while taking a jibe at the PM.

The actor-turned-politician, who had been sulking after he was left out of the electioneering, said it was because of the “aggressive campaigning” by Modi that BJP fetched 53 seats.

“Probably Modi was kept in dark about ground realities in Bihar by the party leadership. Outsiders were at the helm of affairs for electioneering, whereas ‘Bihari Babu’ (referring to himself), whom people of Patna sent to Parliament by a margin of lakhs, was deliberately kept out of the campaign, which also people (voters) took seriously and defeated BJP,” Sinha told a select group of mediapersons here last night.

The MP from Patna Sahib said the anti-incumbency factor did not work against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“There was no anti-incumbency factor against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the day the ‘grand alliance’ of Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad Yadav-Congress was formed, they won half the election,” said Sinha, who is here for a function.

The targeting of Lalu Yadav and the ‘jungle raj’ remarks didn’t go well with the people of Bihar, he claimed

“This particular comment (‘jungle raj’) hurt the sentiments of the anti-BJP people of Bihar,” he said, while pointing out that Lalu staged a comeback with flying colours, with “80 per cent success rate (winning 80 seats out of the 100 contested)”.

In the recently held elections to the 243-seat Bihar Assembly, the grand alliance won 178 seats, including RJD-80, JD(U) 71 and Congress 27.