NDA to formally launch Bihar poll campaign on Thursday

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New Delhi, Jul 15: Aiming to end the 25-year rule of Lalu-Nitish combine in Bihar, NDA will formally launch tomorrow its campaign for the crucial Assembly polls scheduled later this year with BJP president Amit Shah set to flag off 160 'parivartan raths' from Patna.

BJP allies like LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, RLSP head Upendra Kushwaha and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi will join Shah at the event where the NDA leaders are likely to highlight the social welfare schemes launched by the Centre and the state's "falling growth rate and poor law and order" to take on the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance.

NDA to kick off Bihar poll campaign

BJP general secretary and its Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav said these raths (chariots) will go to 10 villages every day and relay the party's audio and video publicity material to reach out to voters.

The party plans to hold 30,000 public meetings during the run up to the polls, likely to be held in September-October. The party is also likely to make use of its 80 lakh new members in the state, who it claims joined it in the recent membership drive, to rally around its supporters.

The state election result is being seen crucial for the party's soaring national ambition, which suffered a jolt after its rout in Delhi Assembly poll, and it is pulling out all stops to dethrone Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who has joined hands with his former adversary Lalu Prasad to take it on.

BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said the NDA's campaign will ride on the twin message - "the pro-poor drive of the Narendra Modi government and Nitish' mis-governance after he parted ways with BJP against Modi's rise in the party".

BJP's pitch will be that a vote to JD(U)-RJD will amount to a vote for the return of 'jungle raj', a term it has used for the 15 year RJD rule under Lalu and his wife Rabri Devi.

BJP will also rake up the issue of Nitish leaving the NDA, "a betrayal fuelled by his personal ambition which derailed Bihar's development", Sharma said.

Lalu's conviction on corruption charge and the alleged scams under the Congress-led UPA rule in the Centre will also be key BJP's election planks, he said.

How the growth rate of Bihar has fallen from healthy double digit to single digit since BJP split with Nitish and the state's deteriorating law and order will be other campaign issue, he said.

BJP's victory in the recently Legislative Council has also come as a boost for the party.

The party has suggested that it would not announce any chief ministerial candidate and would again rely on the appeal of Modi who is likely to hold anywhere between 15 and 20 rallies in the state, starting from July 25.

The party fears that announcement of any chief ministerial choice will antagonise other state leaders.


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