(Incorporting speech at second virtual rally) Patna, Oct 13 (PTI) Taking a swipe at his rivals for questioning development in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday mockingly said how come people habituated of indulging in corrupt practices and guided only by interest of their family see growth in the state.
Kumar's barb was apparently direted at opponent RJD whose top leaders are questioning 'is development visible anywhere in the state?' 'While people having positive mindset can see development around them, those habituated of practicing corruption can't see it because there is no scope of 'gadbadi' (irregularity) in the developmental works now,' Kumar said while taking an oblique dig at Lalu Prasad headed RJD top leaders.
Prasad's son Tejashwi Yadav, who has been accepted by the constituents of the Grand Alliance that include Congress as their chief ministerial candidate, has been questioning claims of development in Bihar under Kumar's 15 years rule.
The debate on development in Bihar between political rivals is part of the '15 years vs 15 years' narrative in the present elections.
Kumar was addressing second virtual rally during the day for the constituencies going to vote in the first phase on October 28.
He had spoken at a similar digital rally in the morning.
Kumar, who also heads the ruling JD(U), kicked off election campaign Monday. He said from Wednesday he would start election tour of different constituencies.
Earlier, while ridiculing rivals claim of bringing qualitative changes in the health and other fields if voted to power, Kumar had asked them to look back at their track record during 15 years they were in power in the state.
After he took reins of the state in 2005 end, a survey was conducted in February 2006 in which it came to light that only 39 people used to visit a primary health centre in the state in a month before him, while the figure now stands at 10,000 visitors per month because of substantive improvement in the healthcare system, he said.
The Bihar CM had on Monday ridiculed the RJD's claim of approving 10 lakh government jobs at the very first cabinet on coming to power and wondered whether cabinet meetings were held properly during the 15 years of its rule.
'See our work. We know how to do a work and how to get it done from others. On the other hand there are people who don't have any experience...what is needed in Bihar they have neither any idea nor any experience to perform,' the JD(U) star campaigner said wryly.
Tejashwi, less than half the age of Kumar whom he addresses as 'chacha' (uncle), is pitted against experienced Kumar who is seeking fourth straight term in power in the current elections.
The RJD was in power in Bihar from 1990 to 2005. Kumar is at the helm of state affairs since then.
Altogether 71 constituencies will see voting in the first phase of Assembly elections.
The JD(U) president reiterated that if voters give him another chance, his government would unroll 'Saat Nischay' (Seven resolves) part II, to take up more developmental programmes in the state.
Seven resolves part I, launched by the Nitish Kumar administration for its 2015-20 term, comprised seven schemes to ensure basic necessities such as supply of piped drinking water, construction of toilets and concrete drains and electricity connection to every household. Most of the projects have been completed.
Its second part will focus on enhancing skill of youths to brighten their jobs prospect, promoting entrepreneurship among women by providing them financial assistance, irrigation facility to every agriculture field and additional health facilities for people and animals.
Seeking to puncture the opponents claim on job creation, he said, during their 15 years rule a total of 95,734 people got recruitment in the government when even Jharkhand was part of it for the first 10 years. 'During our 15 years, over 6 lakh youth received jobs,' Kumar said.
Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000.
In a bid to reach out to the minority muslim voters, Kumar, the CM face of the NDA, refered to 1989-90 commnunal riots in Bhagalpur in which over 1000 people were killed in the communal clashes.
'They seek vote in the name of minorities but did they do anything for them?' when we came to power the victim families of Bhagalpur riots were given monthly pension of Rs 2500 which was doubled to Rs 5000 in 2013,' he said.
Accompanied by senior leders of the party, Kumar reacted sharply to the adversaries 'spreading lies' among people that the state government did not take adequate measures to effectively fight COVID pandemic.
'Due to our sustained efforts, Bihar is today testing more samples than the national average. Recovery rate of coronavirus patients in the state stands today at around 94 per cent much ahead of the countrywide average,' he said.
Kumar apparently took a dig at his bete noire Lalu Prasad for being guided by the interest of only wife, sons and daughters and said for him Bihar was the family.
'Some people are expert of catering to interest of only family...for me Bihar is my family,' Kumar said.
While, Prasad two sons and eldest daughter are occupying prominent posts in the party and also holding constitutional positions, neither Kumar's lone son nor any other members of his family are active in politics.
Kumar's wife has already died. PTI DR SNS SNS