The last phase of polling may be five days away but Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday oozed with confidence about victory, and promised he will bring a fresh "vikas ki Ganga" to Bihar during his next tenure.
He also said terrorists should be beaten like "ghosts who are driven away after being caught by the tuft of hair", and accused the Congress-led opposition of trying to downplay the issue of national security despite numerous lives lost in terror attacks. "This is my last election rally in Bihar. You have given me enormous love, and with my competent allies sitting on this dais, I am assured that the poll outcome would be favorable. But please ensure in the last phase that the magnitude of victory is divya aur bhavya (grand).
"In my next tenure, I would be among you once again and bring along vikaas ki Ganga, he told an election rally here in Pataliputra parliamentary constituency, which goes to poll on May 19 in the final phase of the 7-stage general election. The prime minister's comments came shortly after BJP president Amit Shah claimed in New Delhi that his party has already crossed the majority mark after the sixth phase of polling.
"I am fully confident that the BJP after the fifth and sixth phase of the elections has crossed the majority figure. It is going to cross 300 after the seventh phase," he told a press conference. Modi claimed before 2014, when terrorists used to strike, the government of the day confined its response to issuing statements. However, his government refused to take things lying down when Pakistan-sponsored terrorists "wounded the nation's psyche". The armed forces were given a free hand, he said, asserting terrorists were bumped off inside their hideouts (ghar mein ghuskar maara).
"Can terrorists be dealt with by burning incense sticks in deference to them? They have to be dealt with like ghosts (bhoot-pret) who are caught by the tuft of hair, beaten up and driven away," he asserted. But the Mahamilavatis say national security is no issue, Modi alleged, and wondered how can it not be an issue when so many innocent lives have been lost in countless terror attacks. "They are guided solely by self-interest, he alleged.
He subtly played the caste card in this assembly segment of Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat, which has a sizeable number of Yadav voters, when he reminded them of his roots in Gujarat and Dwarka, the kingdom of Lord Krishna, whose descendants the Yadavas consider themselves. "I have a strong connection with the Yaduvanshis as I come from Gujarat, where Dwarka is situated. The community worships Lord Krishna and knows how to play the flute and when and where to strike with the Sudarshan Chakra, he said.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, who also hailed from Gujarat, the prime minister said, "We bow before the Mohan (Gandhi's first name) of charkha (the spinning wheel) when it comes to deciding our development trajectory. But we are also mindful of the legacy of the Mohan (Lord Krishna) carrying the Sudarshan Chakra when it comes to fighting terror."
Modi was campaigning for Ram Kripal Yadav and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union ministers and BJP candidates for Pataliputra and the adjoining Patna Sahib seats. Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar and LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan were present at the rally. Modi also lambasted the Congress over its leader Sam Pitrodas hua to hua remark and insisted it reflected the partys arrogance with regard to the "complicity of its leaders in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Launching a stinging attack on Lalu Prasads RJD, without mentioning the party or its leader by name, Modi said," They should disclose how they amassed property worth thousands of crores of rupees. "How they came to own so many acres of land? They must be taken to task for failing to uplift even the very caste they claim to be the champions of."
He also referred to the disenchantment of Ram Kripal Yadav, a former Lalu Prasad loyalist, with the RJD who joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and defeated his former mentors daughter Misa Bharti. "They used the support of their caste. But found nobody except those within the family capable enough of leading their party. They held the caste hostage, he said. He also spoke about technological transformation brought about by his government.
Modi recalled how during an interaction with youngsters he was told they thronged railway stations at night to use the free wi-fi connection for studies which helped them avoid going to coaching institutes. In an apparent bid to woo the voters of the Nishad (fishermen) community, who are enthusiastic about the Vikassheel Insaan Party a fledgling outfit that claims to champion their cause, Modi said in his next tenure he would unveil plans to ensure fishermen from Bihar sell fish outside the state. Vikassheel Insaan Party is a constituent of the RJD- led 'Mahagathbandhan'.