CHHAPRA, Bihar- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a scathing attack on RJD chief Lalu Prasad on his home turf, calling him a "tantrik" (occultist) and his party "Rashtriya Jadu Tona Party" as he reached out to the youth and weaker sections, promising a six-point programme for the state's development.
Amid indications that the caste and reservation debate dominating the polls scenario here could be detrimental to NDA's prospects, the Prime Minister raised the development pitch promising "bijli-paani-sadak" (electricity, road and water) and "kamai, padhai, and dawai" (earning, education and medicines) for each family in the state.
Blaming "Bade bhaai (Lalu) and Chhote Bhaai (Nitish Kumar) for problems plaguing the state, Modi insisted that the only plank NDA has is of "development".
Hitting back at the grand alliance's "Bihari versus Bahari (Bihari versus outsider)" barb to attack BJP, which is fighting the polls under the leadership of Modi and Amit Shah, the Prime Minister took up the issues of migration and unemployment among youths.
In remarks laced with sarcasm, he said that he wants to ask from the "very respectable democrat (param adarniya loktantrik) Nitish ji and the "biggest occult practitioner (tantrik) Lalu ji that who made the Bihar youths outsiders by forcing them out of the state in search of livelihood.
"People of Bihar want to know who made the youths of Bihar outsiders (Bahari). Who pushed my youths of Bihar outside. They destroyed two generations of youths in Bihar in last 25 years," Modi said amid renewed attempts by the BJP to consolidate youth voters in Bihar, which it expects will vote beyond the caste and community lines.
Ridiculing Lalu's election meeting barbs at him, Modi said, "Laluji you are free to sacrifice black or white pigeon or blow smoke or soil. If you have to do this rename your party Rashtriya Janta Dal as Rashtriya Jadu Tona Party (party of occult practices) and being the head of the party, you will be the biggest 'tantrik' in the world." .
Democracy functions with the blessings of people not with tantrums of a tantrik, the Prime Minister said, asking people whether those with an "eighteenth century mindset" can develop Bihar and asked the electorate "to select and wipe out" such people from the political landscape of Bihar.
Kumar had yesterday courted controversy as a video of his meeting a 'tantrik' went viral, providing fresh ammunition to his rivals, who claimed that he was resorting to occult to get rid of foe-turned-friend Lalu Yadav.
Taking potshots over the incident, Modi said so far he knew only three players in Mahagthbandhan--Bada Bhai Lalu, Chhota Bhai Nitish and Madam Sonia Gandhi. "But for the first time I came to know there is also a fourth player, a tantrik.
Now there are four players in this alliance of grand opportunism."
Wondering whether such a "farce" can be allowed to go on with democracy, Modi, without naming the RJD chief, attacked him for threatening a mike mechanic during his rally in Gaya and portrayed it as an attack on the weaker sections.
Projecting his modest background of a tea-seller, Modi said, "I saw an incident on TV recently that shocked me. There are people who still treat themselves as king (raja-maharaja).
When a leader of Bihar came to deliver his speech, he started snubbing the mikewalla and said he will throw him on the ground.
"So far you have not come to power and you are talking of throwing the children of the poor on the ground. The mikewallh may be one individual for you. For me he belongs to my community. Will you torture the children of the poor like this? Will you thrown them on the ground."
Modi also stated that some railway officers used to bash up tea sellers earlier.
BJP has of late been projecting Modi, who himself belongs to Extremely backward community of 'ghaanchi teli' as the first PM on his own strength from EBC category. BJP is banking big on EBCs in this election in Bihar.
Modi said that Lalu is labouring only to promote his two sons in politics. "He is not bothered about anybody else than their family members," he alleged.
Targeting the Mahagathbandhan for closure of chocolate factories in the region, he promised that if the NDA came to power, he will ask the state government to form a committee to chalk out plans for industrialisation of the state to generate employment for youth, who he said, are being forced to leave their old parents and migrate to earn two square meals.
"When I talk of development, I want to put emphasis on six things," Modi said, adding that this six-point programme will ensure irrigation facilities to farmers and power connection to villages and industries.
"Had you done this in the last 25 years, the destiny of Bihar would have been changed," he said, targeting the grand alliance leaders.
Training his guns on Kumar, he raked up the issue of the death of 23 school children in Chhapra due to insecticide poisoning after consuming food served under Mid Day Meal (MDM) and said Nitish Kumar "did not have the courage" to visit the victims. The place of occurrence was considered to be a bastion of the RJD.
"Nitishji keeps remembering me day and night. His devotional opposition is praiseworthy. It would have been better had he taken care of these things. Children of the poor, deprived, dalits and backwards had to lose their life," he said.
Modi's promises to the people of Bihar seem a counter to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "Seven Nischay" (seven resolves) announced in August in which Kumar had promised unemployment allowance, 35 per cent reservation for women in jobs and piped water and free electricity connection to every home.
Modi said while leaders of NDA talk about issues of development, those of the grand alliance keep their focus only on him. "They are only shouting Modi-Modi. Modi did this, Modi did that. Modi is like this, Modi is like that. Modi is what he is but people of the country have blessed him."
Repeatedly using the barb of 'bada bhai, chotta bhai' to target Lalu and Nitish, the Prime Minister said they should account for their 25 years of rule instead of targeting him and that he will give an account of his work to people, when he comes to seek vote in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
"Almost half of the polls are over. Are they giving an account of their work in last 25 years. This is a direct insult to democracy. Laluji and Nitish ji, your days are over.
Those days are no more when you used to fan sentiments and crush the future of Bihar.
"Now the youths of Bihar and its spirit and commitment are awakened. You will not be able to crush the dreams of the youths," he said addressing the packed gathering, which shouted slogans hailing him.
Modi expressed confidence that the NDA will form a government in the state, saying the gathering in Chhapra is not a rally but "a mela of parivartan".
Referring to BJP's victory in local body polls in Ladakh, the Prime Minister said that the region with 90 per cent of minority population showed its faith in the BJP and the result will have its impact in Delhi as well.
"This election will bring two Diwalis not only for Bihar but for the entire nation. It is clearly visible how Bihar will celebrate Diwali on November 8, the day of counting," he said.
"In Ladakh, Congress is down to only five seats while it had won 22 seats last time. When the ice melts in the Himalayas, Bihar feels the cold. Hence the trend from Ladakh will help create an atmosphere in Bihar as well," Modi said.
Attacking Nitish and Lalu for joining hands with Congress, the Prime Minister invoked late Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, who was popularly called "Yuva Turk".
"While Chandra Shekhar broke his long relation with Congress at the call of JP, these leaders who claim to have the blessings of the Loknayak and do politics in his name joined hands with Congress.
"Nitish ji, who had come in politics with the blessings of JP left him and surrendered to Congress for political opportunism. See the difference in the character of these two leaders--Chandra Shekhar and Nitish Kumar."
Chandra Shekar belonged to the adjacent Ballia district in Uttar Pradesh.
Modi, who was accused by rivals of cancelling some rallies allegedly fearing a loss for NDA in Bihar polls, said he came now as the third phase of polls is starting in the state after a long festival break.
"I have again got an opportunity to come to you. If you give me so much love, I will keep coming here. I will return your love with interest," he said.
The Prime Minister, who has been attacked by the opposition for remembering Bihar only at the time of polls, reminded that he had maintained long back that India will not develop till the eastern part of the country including states like Bihar are developed.
As part of his campaign blitzkrieg, Modi will address around one and half a dozen rallies for the remaining three phases of polls in the state. The third phase falls on October 28. So far 81 of 243 assembly seats have seen voting in last two phases.