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Voters must know that NDA pulled Bihar out of 'jungle raj': Modi to BJP workers

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Patna, Apr 2 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged BJP workers in Bihar to make young voters aware that the state was pulled out of “jungle raj” only after the NDA came to power.

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In an interaction with booth-level workers via the ‘NAMO app’, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Modi also underscored the need for spreading the word that “3.5 crore poor people in Bihar have come out of poverty during the 10 years of NDA rule at the Centre”.

“Besides, nine crore people will be benefited by the free ration scheme and nearly three crore women have got free cooking gas connections through the Ujjwala Yojana. People must be told about these things again and again,” he said.

The prime minister, whose party has an alliance with four other parties in Bihar, stressed on the need for allies to work in coordination and make the voters aware that “every vote they cast in favour of NDA, will be for Modi”.

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In the virtual interaction that lasted about an hour, the PM took potshots at political adversaries, without mentioning them by name.

On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “shakti” remark, he said, “I am a worshipper of shakti. But the INDI alliance members want to destroy shakti, which implies divine power. What havoc they would create if they achieve power, must be explained to the people.” Referring to the Mithila region, which is believed to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita, Modi said, “It came as no surprise that when the ‘pran pratishtha’ of Ram temple at Ayodhya was taking place, people of Mithila seemed to be moved the most. They must always be reminded that there are political parties which had refused to acknowledge that Lord Ram ever existed, and never wanted the temple to be constructed”.

He also took a veiled dig at the opposition RJD-Congress combine in Bihar, referring to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s remark that out of every rupee the Centre sent, only 15 paise could reach the people.

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“Then came the time of ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar, when forget about the 15 paise, the entire rupee used to be eaten up," alleged Modi, calling attention to the nearly 15 years of rule by RJD president Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, both of whom have been named in a number of corruption cases.

“It is essential to tell a first-time voter, who may not have been born during the ‘jungle raj’, about how the NDA, with our ally Nitish Kumar (JDU president) at the helm, turned things around,” the prime minister said.

Modi began his address with a greeting in Bhojpuri, in keeping with his penchant for breaking into local languages during interaction with people.

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“I have always noted that the party’s workers in Bihar never shy away from making an effort… I always say that I will pay back by working harder,” he said.

Modi expressed delight when Sangita Prasad, a booth-level functionary from Aurangabad district, submitted that rural women were enthused by the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ that provide reservations to women in elected bodies, “even though it may not benefit them directly”.

When another party worker said he was feeling gratified at the opportunity to speak directly with the prime minister, Modi brushed it aside, saying “we are all karyakartas. It is just that all of us have been assigned different roles”.

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Modi, who had cut his teeth as a full-time RSS pracharak and an organisation-level BJP functionary in Gujarat, also offered tips to the party workers, asserting that “winning an election is a science. We cannot simply go about doing prachar (propaganda). We must also ensure that those whom we have interacted with, do agree to vote for our party”.

“Summers have arrived. So, keep yourself hydrated. Ask for water at every household that you visit,” he told one of the BJP workers, in what appeared to be a lesson he has drawn from his days with the RSS, which trains its volunteers to break bread with families, which enables them to win their trust.

Known for having his ear to the ground, the PM seemed well aware of the fact that the BJP-led coalition has a relatively greater following among the womenfolk.

He, therefore, called for the need to spread the word about schemes like ‘lakhpati didi’ and ‘drone didi’, which aim at making rural women financially independent. PTI NAC RBT

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