Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi raked up Bihar’s past to project its future in his Patna rally, which was his third on Wednesday. He said, the days of the lantern were over, referring to better electric supply, as part of his ‘vikas’ agenda; at a metaphoric level, it was also a political dig, given the main opposition RJD’s electoral symbol is a lantern.
“Atal ji(former Prime Minister) used to say that in Bihar in-bound supply of electricity is less while it vanishes more. The darkness of the lantern era is now over. Bihar’s aspirations now are of continued electricity supply, of LED bulbs,” said Modi sharing the stage with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the crowd cheered for the PM and chanted his name.
This is not the first time he used the phrase ‘era of lantern’. Earlier, at a rally in Sasaram, the PM, in what seemed to be an effort to introduce first-time voters of Bihar to a bygone era, had said, “The need for lanterns in today’s Bihar is over. Today every poor household in Bihar has an electricity connection, there is light.”
The strategy of PM’s speeches today has been simple – highlight Bihar’s past to question Bihar’s future.
“Who can fulfil the aspirations of the poor and the middle class of Bihar? Those who looted Bihar, can they do it? Those who single-handedly thought of their families and did injustice to everyone will never realise Bihar’s expectations. Only the NDA can do it,” said the PM.
It was a mix of resurrection of Bihar’s fear psychosis of a bygone era of absolute lawlessness, a promise of a better future and highlighting dynastic politics.
Making a comparison with the COVID precautions, he said, just like people of Bihar can save themselves from COVID-19 by wearing a mask, they can also “save Bihar” from becoming ‘bimar’ with a single vote.
It was not the first COVID reference of the day, though for the Prime Minister.
Earlier in Muzaffarpur , in a dig at Tejashwi Yadav without naming him, Modi said, “You can imagine what will happen to the funds for COVID-19 if they come to power… What else can residents of Bihar expect from the ‘Yuvraj’ (prince) of ‘Jungle Raj’, given their past record?”