Tearing into the ruling Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked the people of Bihar to use the upcoming assembly polls as an opportunity to "free themselves from the jungle raaj" by electing a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to and develop and modernise the state.
"You have suffered their arrogance, deceit and exploitation for the last 25 years. Do you want such a rule to continue for another five years," the Prime Minister asked at a mass rally in Patna.
"These elections are an opportunity for you to free yourselves from the jungle raaj. ... You have so far seen jungle raaj ... If you allow jungle raaj part two, it will only spell further disaster for the state," Modi said.
Taking a jibe at Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad over his conviction in the fodder scam, he said "those who go to jail, come out learning bad things."
He said while the RJD stands for 'rozana jungle raaj ka dar' (daily fear of jungle raaj), the Janata Dal-United stood for 'janata ka daman-utpidan' (suppression and oppression of the people).
The Prime Minister also attacked the JD(U)-RJD combine over the recent murder of a Bharatiya Janata Party activist in Patna, saying "this is the beginning of jungle raaj part two. Do you want this to come back?"
"The time has come to put an end to this jungle raaj and to this (JD-U-RJD) government, which is filled with arrogance. These people have ruled the state for 25 years, they have destroyed the lives of people...
"The youth here leave their aged parents to go out of the state for employment. Do we need such a government? Can the JD-U and the RJD be handed over the reins of power for one more term," he asked the gathering which shouted back a resounding 'no'.
Observing that Bihar was part of the BIMARU states, Modi said BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were able to usher in development and bring the states out of the BIMARU status.
BIMARU denotes the backward states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Referring to former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and C P Thakur and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan who were present on the dais, the Prime Minister said these were experienced leaders who can take Bihar on the path of progress.
"Give us five years, we will ensure that Bihar gets out of the 'BIMARU' category," he said, adding that under the BJP's leadership, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have come out of it and were progressing on the path of development, such as BJP-ruled Haryana and Gujarat.
"Looking at the crowd of people here (at the rally) and the route all along the airport, I can clearly see that the people of Bihar have already taken two decisions -- one, that
they want development and want Bihar to become a modern and strong state. The other that they have decided to change ....they want freedom from exploitation, arrogance and deceit that they have been suffering from in the last 25 years," the prime minister said.
"See what has been done to Bihar in these years. ... They (ruling alliance) have drunk poison. Do you want them to spew the venom on you after the elections," he asked.
Addressing the gathering before Modi, BJP President Amit Shah also castigated the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar for spending Rs 300 crore on publicity and advertisements.
"Nitish Kumar claims to be socialist. But this money, which was spent to boost his image, could have been spent to provide the people with electricity, drinking water and healthcare facilities," Shah said.
He attacked Lalu Prasad's RJD for calling a 'bandh' a few days ago which led to shutting down of shops and other establishments and damaging property.
"If Bihar wants development such as MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana, then you have to elect the BJP-led NDA to power," the BJP chief said.