Last updated on: January 16, 2020 at 8:18 pm IST
Vaishali, January 16: BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated that Nitish Kumar would be the chief ministerial face of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.
Addressing a rally to drum up support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at the Gharauna Pokhar ground on Thursday, Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would lead the NDA at the Centre and Nitish Kumar in the state.
“I want to end all rumours by declaring openly here that the next assembly elections in Bihar will be fought under the leadership of Nitish Kumar,” Shah said.
Taking potshots at the Opposition, especially Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, he said it was the NDA which had led the state from “jungle raj” (euphemism for misgovernance) to “janata raj” (people’s rule) from 2005 to 2020.
Dismissing speculations of a possible rift within the two coalition partners (the BJP and Nitish Kumar’s JD-U) of the NDA, he asserted, the bond was “unbreakable”.
He said those in the Opposition who dreamt of becoming the chief minister would not be realised.
He lashed out at the Opposition leaders, particularly Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for all communal violence that had taken place in different parts of India to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.
“The opposition parties engineered anti-CAA riots, which forced the BJP to hold rallies across the country to apprise the people of their nefarious designs,” he said.
He also added the name of Lalu Prasad of the RJD and Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for misleading people about the CAA.
“I have come here to tell Muslim brothers to read the CAA. I have also come to tell Rahul Baba (Rahul Gandhi) and Lalu Prasad Yadav to not mislead the people. Mamata Didi and Kejriwal ji, you too do not mislead the people. The CAA has received the best response in Bihar,” he added.
Referring to the Opposition quartet, he said, “Unki mat ke liye mati mari gayi hai (they had gone out of their senses to protect their votebank).”
“CAA intends to help those who came to India after their women were raped in front of their eyes. Their properties were snatched away. Their places of worship were desecrated,” said Shah.
The CAA is the law which seeks to fast-track citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
Talking about Congress’ double standard, Shah said the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan had included in its manifesto the plan protect the interest of religious minorities coming from neighbouring countries. “When they do it, it is fine, when we do it to protect their interest, we are called communal,” he said.
Shah referred to former prime minister Manmohan Singh as “mauni baba”, who he said would keep quiet even when Pakistan would behead our soldiers.
On the contrary, when Pakistan continued with its nefarious designs – referring to the Pulwama attack – Shah said that India retaliated strongly under Prime Minister Narendra Modi by sending its troops inside Pakistan and resorting to surgical strike.
He also spoke about some bold decisions Modi had taken in scrapping Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir.
The home minister also blamed the Congress for dividing the country on religious lines.
In an oblique reference to the disturbance at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Shah said those from the “tukde-tukde gang”, who talk to dividing India, would be put behind bars.
He also announced that construction activity for the Ram temple at Ayodhya would begin in the next four months.
Several central ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad, Giriraj Singh, Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, Nityanand Rai, BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state ministers Nand Kishore Yadav, Prem Kumar and Suresh Sharma; and MPs Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Veena Devi, RK Sinha, and CP Thakur were present on the occasion.
BJP state vice president Devesh Kumar conducted the proceedings. (Courtesy: HT)