Nitish-Lalu together sought religion-based quotas in 2005: PM Modi

PM asserted that no political party in the country had the power to "take away and undo" reservation guaranteed to the weaker sections.

Nitish-Lalu together sought religion-based quotas in 2005: PM Modi
Pic courtesy: ANI

Katihar/Madhubani: Fuelling further the bitter quota debate in Bihar polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused his rivals Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad of having come together in July 2005 to demand a review of the policy to provide for religion-based reservation.

He also asserted that no political party in the country had the power to "take away and undo" reservation guaranteed to the weaker sections in the Constitution by BR Ambedkar.

"On July 23/24, 2005, when these two leaders were arch rivals and did not even see eye to eye, they had come together to demand a review of the reservation policy on religious basis, something the Constitution makers like Babasaheb Ambedkar, Rajendra babu, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel had firmly rejected.

"...These people don't have any issues in the election and that's why they are raising the bogey of scrapping of the reservation every day which is totally false. No political party in the country has the power to take away or undo the reservation guaranteed to the weaker sections by Ambedkar in the Constitution," he said, addressing an election rally in Katihar.

Holding the promise of development, Modi while addressing poll rallies for the last phase of Bihar polls, launched a fresh attack on Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar, saying 'jungle raj' now has a twin brother in 'jantar-mantar' (black magic) and together the two will "spell doom" for the state.

Praising the people of the state, he said, "Bihar stands for brilliant, innovative, hardworking, action-oriented and resourceful" and voiced hope that the youth and women will help usher in change.

Training his guns on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Modi said, "Today, when they have been caught (for purportedly having sought religion-based quotas), they are getting agitated and throwing at us the colour of communalism."

He once again attacked Nitish Kumar for his meeting with an occultist, saying, "People who practise black magic will not help you win elections. Only democracy has that power and not 'mantra-tantra'."

In a jibe at Nitish after his video with a 'tantrik' went viral on social media, Modi alleged at another poll rally in Madhubani that the Bihar Chief Minister was taking recourse to "black magic as he does not believe in democracy".

"Bihar has suffered the brunt of 'Jungle Raj'...'Jungle Raj' now has a twin brother in 'jantar-mantar'. Don't let 'Jungle Raj' and 'jantar-mantar' come together, otherwise this combination will only spell doom for Bihar and its people," he said.

He also said the current election was for building the future of Bihar and those who have ruined the state over the years need to be taught an "exemplary lesson". 

"When I criticised them over the games being played by them and highlighted their speeches in Parliament (favouring religion-based reservation), they panicked and even their 'masters' in Delhi had fever.

"After Laluji showed a 70-year-old book, not written by a BJP leader, I took out their speeches made in Parliament 10 years ago and their masters raised questions. When you took out a 70-year-old book, then you did not remember anything. Why this double standard?" he said.

Lalu has been repeatedly showing 'A Bunch of Thoughts', a book by second chief of the RSS MS Golwalkar, at press conferences and rallies to claim that the Sangh had always opposed reservation.

Greeting people in their native language 'Maithili' in Madhubani, Modi said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee loved the land of Mithila.

The Prime Minister said Bihar, with its vast water resources and youth power had potential to scale greater heights.

Repeatedly targeting Nitish for his meeting with the occultist, Modi said,"They have made fun of democracy. Those who don't believe in democracy do 'jantar-mantar' (black magic)...Can you get electricity, water, employment, education by doing 'jantar mantar'."

Accusing Nitish, Lalu and Congress, the partners in anti-BJP grand alliance, of "ruining" the state during their cumulative rule of 60 years, Modi said Bihar needs two engines to steer it out of its "misery".

"One engine will be that of the central government and the other of the NDA government in the state that will steer Bihar to the path of speedy progress and development," he said.

"Should those who ruined Bihar not be punished? Give them such punishment that no one dares to cheat Bihar again," he said.

Lauding women for their large presence at his election rallies, Modi said it was because they "know the problems of jungle raj, of kidnappings, and are seeking change". "The number of women attending our rallies is higher than those during Lok Sabha polls. The direction of wind is clear," he said.

Waving a memorandum he received from women of the area which carried their thumb impressions, he said it is unfortunate that the land known for Nalanda has illiterate women.

"Madam Soniaji, you ruled for 35 years. Laluji and Nitishji, you ruled for 25 years, and look what you gave to women? This is the proof of your failure," he said, assuring women that their turning out in large numbers at BJP rallies will not go unrewarded. 

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