Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says the upcoming assembly polls will be `make-or-mar` for Bihar as people would either choose the path of development initiated by his government or go back to the politics of caste and religion.
"I think it is going to be a make-or-mar election for the state. For the first time in the electoral history of the state, development has emerged as a key factor in the polls," Nitish Kumar said in his blog late Monday.
He said the polls, to be held from Oct 21 to Nov 20, would be different from those in the past in more ways than one.
"Each one of you has to decide whether you want the process of development to continue after the polls or want to go back to the days when progress was sacrificed at the altar of politics of caste, community and religion.
"I have always maintained that development will take precedence over all other considerations in this election," Nitish Kumar, who is in his late 50s, said.
He touted development as the main poll plank of his party Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which leads the coalition government in Bihar that came to power in November 2005.
"People from across the world often write to me saying they had given up hope for Bihar`s turnaround but the positive wave of reforms and change that took place during our tenure had changed their perception about the state," he said.
He said he had made a promise to the people of Bihar that he would not come back to seek their votes if he did not succeed in bringing about change.
"I have little hesitation in saying that changes are visible across the state now. This is why I have come back to people to seek another term for our government. We have achieved quite a bit and we have miles to go," Nitish Kumar said.
He said in his blog: "If voted back to power, it would be our priority to streamline the PDS system.
"We have done some experiments with food coupons and I want to give it a concrete shape at the earliest. I wish to reiterate my commitment that each poor person should get his or her share of rationed goods in a hassle-free manner."
Nitsh Kumar said he also wished to focus more aggressively on improving the power scenario in the state as it is a prerequisite of development and we are brutally aware of this. "We have relentlessly worked towards this and the results will begin to surface soon."
He said he had resolved to turn Bihar into a developed state by 2015.
"The rate of growth has been impressive and we wish to further capitalise on this. This can`t happen unless each one of us stands up and joins the crusade."
Bihar will elect its 243-member assembly six phase polls from Oct 21. The results will be declared Nov 24.