Nitish asks people to unite on ''Bihari'' plank

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Patna, Feb 10 (PTI) Apparently unsatiated with thelandslide mandate in last year''s assembly polls, the ChiefMinister Nitish Kumar today exhorted the people of Bihar tounite behind their ''Bihari'' identity by defeating the lastvestige of the casteist forces.

"The people should remain prepared to fight one finalbattle - that is for their distinct Bihari identity - in orderto herald the socio-economic and political transformation inthe state," he said at the JD(U) state council meet here.

"You (people) have succeeded to a great extent inarticulating a common aspiration -development, but none of usshould rest on the works done already ....I visualize ascenario where a final battle between the casteiest elementsand those who seek to restore their ''Bihari'' identity," Kumarsaid and asked the people to defeat the casteist forces foronce and all.

"Bihar has a long long way to go to assert itsidentity at the national level and with the people willing togo the distance to achieve their dream should not stop intheir strides till emerging victorious in the final battle(against casteist forces)," he said.

The Chief Minister also attacked his detractors,within the ruling JD(U) and outside, for their tirade againsthim personally and the NDA government in the run up to theassembly polls and said that he stood vindicated after thesuccessful results at the hustings.

He took to task the AICC General Secretary RahulGandhi though without naming him for his campaign in lastyear''s Bihar assembly polls.

Kumar claimed that he had done the homework for theassembly polls and could read the script even ahead of theactual voting and slammed the dissidents from the JD(U) andpolitical adversaries for their rhetoric against him and theruling coalition which backfired on them.

"I had done the work and won the hearts of the peopleand in the bargain, their votes," he said.

Criticising his detractors for questioning the NDA''sdevelopment plan, the Chief Minister said that he wasconvinced with the mantra of ''development laced with justice''and added that his government took care of the well-being ofthe people by taking care of nutrition, health, educationwithout which, he believed, no development could be worthwhileand meaningful.

Kumar also stressed the issue of global warming andclimate change and asked the JD(U) workers to plant saplingsduring a proposed membership drive and spread awareness amongthe people about the looming threat to the ecology andbio-diversity. PTI KDK CR

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