Bhagalpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday continued his campaign blitzkrieg in Bihar where he mounted a counter attack on Nitish Kumar for "cheating" the people with his Rs 2.7 lakh crore development vision.
Addressing BJP's fourth 'Parivartan Rally' in the state in little over a month, Modi also accused Kumar and his new ally RJD chief Lalu Prasad, both products of the JP movement, of sacrificing the legacy of socialist icons Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan by aligning with Congress.
He also accused the two leaders of spreading the "poison of casteism and communalism" during the 25 years they ruled the key Hindi heartland state.
"For 2-3 days after I announced a special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for Bihar which along with the Rs 40,000 crore of the earlier package totalled Rs 1.65 lakh crore, he cracked jokes about it and indulged in tall talk against it.
"But, when he realised that people of Bihar, who have sharp intelligence, have seen through his game and did not pay any serious attention, he (Kumar) changed tack. He used the same issue for which he was abusing me (special package) and came out with a vision of development of Rs 2.7 lakh crore to be implemented over five years," he said.
Modi said Kumar had "cheated" the people with the package he announed last week, insisting it was merely the sum of Bihar's annual budgets of Rs 50 to 55 thousand crore each year over the next five years, which includes central assistance.
"This is an attempt to befool the people of Bihar. This is an attempt cheat them. They should realise no one can befool the people of Bihar," Modi said.
Contrasting it with the package announced by him, Modi said the development proposals worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore promised by the Centre was beyond the around Rs 3.75 lakh crore rupees that the state would get towards its annual budget from the Finance Commission.
"It needs to be asked where will the rest of Rs 1.76 lakh crore will go if the state only gives Rs 2.7 lakh crore. Will it go the fodder scam way," Modi said, taking a jibe at RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has been convicted in the fodder scam and barred from contesting elections.
Under fierce attack for his DNA jibe against Kumar, which his rivals have sought to turn into a potent electoral weapon to stoke strong emotions of Bihari pride, the Prime Minister sought to make amends, calling Biharis the "most intelligent" people.
Two days after the leaders of the newly-formed Secular Alliance, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, besides Kumar and Lalu assailed him over the DNA remark at their 'Swabhiman Rally', Modi lavished praise on the people of the state, noting "most intelligent people live in Bihar".