BJP's dream of expanding footprints in eastern India will be

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ended in Bihar, says Pilot Patna, Oct 29 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Thursday exuded confidence that the BJP's dream of forming governments in Eastern Indian states will be ended in the assembly election in Bihar as the Grand Alliance, of which his party is a constituent, will post a 'historic victory' in the state.

He also said that the Grand Alliance is now setting agenda for Bihar's development as its promise of sanctioning 10 lakh government jobs at the first cabinet meeting after coming to power was followed up by the BJP which said it will offer to people 19 lakh employments.

The Grand Alliance consists of the RJD, the Congress and three Left parties.

'We (Grand Alliance) will post a historic victory in Bihar assembly elections and it is going to have its impact on the country's polity. The BJP has plans to expand its footprint to the eastern part of the country especially in West Bengal, Assam. But we will stop them firmly in Bihar itself,' Pilot told reporters here.

West Bengal is now ruled by the Trinamool Congress while Assam is governed by a coalition headed by the BJP.

Assembly elections in both states are likely to be held between March and May next year.

After decades of its limited presence in West Bengal, the BJP has emerged as the main rival to the ruling Trinamool Congress and won 18 of its 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections.

The Grand Alliance is now setting the agenda in the Bihar elections and the BJP is only responding to it, Pilot said.

RJD leader and the Grand Alliance's chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav had said that, after coming to power, the grouping will sanction 10 lakh government jobs in the first cabinet meeting.

'The BJP later came out with a poll promise of 19 lakh jobs,' the Congress leader said.

Seeking to reach out to the youth, the saffron party's manifesto for the Bihar assembly polls promised 19 lakh jobs in the next five years.

Pilot also raked up Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2015 remark over Nitish Kumar's DNA to attack the Bihar chief minister whose party JD(U) is now contesting the assembly polls in the state in alliance with the BJP.

He said, 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised a question on Nitish Kumars DNA in the last assembly elections. The same person has now aligned with the BJP which criticised him.' The CM and his party can go to any extent just to remain in power and such a person cannot any good to Bihar, Pilot claimed.

Kumar severed ties with the BJP after Modi was named as the NDAs prime ministerial candidate before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

In 2015, Kumar had invited Modi to a dinner only to cancel it. Later, at a rally, the prime minister had said, 'There seems to be some problem in his (Kumar's) DNA, because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy, you respect even your political rivals.' Kumar's JD(U) joined the Grand Alliance of the RJD and the Congress and won the 2015 assembly election. But after around two years, he ended the relationship with the coalition over corruption charges against RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and returned to NDA to form a new government.

Pilot, a former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan, also sought to blunt the NDAs '15 years versus 15 years' campaign narrative by claiming that it is the symbol of 'weak leadership' to talk about the previous government's functioning.

'It rather shows that the current dispensation does not have any achievement to show to people. It also does not have any agenda for the future,' he said.

The NDA has been highlighting the works done during the 15 years of RJD rule in Bihar from 1990 to 2005 vis a vis those under Kumar between 2005 and 2020.

Terming as 'indecent' the Bihar CM's recent statement making a personal attack on Lalu Prasad and his family, Pilot said, 'This shows his political immaturity and nervousness.' At an election meeting on October 26, Kumar had said that no development can be expected from people producing 8-9 kids for a son. He, however, had not named Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, who have nine children including Tejashwi Yadav.

Pilot also criticised the BJP for its poll promise of providing free COVID vaccine to all people of Bihar, saying 'putting this in the manifesto proves their mental bankruptcy.' To a query on when he would become the chief minister of Rajasthan, Pilot said he is working for the party without having any longing for posts. PTI AR NN NN