Give a grand welcome to PM during Patna roadshow: BJP urges people of Bihar

Patna, May 8 (PTI) The BJP on Wednesday exhorted supporters from across Bihar to converge in the state capital on Sunday to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will hold a roadshow in the city.

An appeal to the effect came at a joint press conference here, addressed by former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is also the local MP, and Deputy Chief Minister cum state BJP president Samrat Choudhary, among others.

“Sifting through the pages of history I realise that never before has a prime minister held a roadshow in our city. At the most, Modi’s predecessors have gone to Gandhi Maidan to give speeches”, said Prasad, who is seeking re-election from the Patna Sahib seat.

He added, “I urge people from across the state to join us in welcoming the PM. Residents of the city are known for their love for Modi. I appeal to them to decorate their houses with flowers on May 12”.

Speaking at the same press conference, Choudhary said the PM’s roadshow will take place in the evening. Details of his programme will be available soon.

The BJP leaders bristled at RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s taunt that “desperation” had driven the PM to hold a roadshow in a constituency which has always been considered “a safe seat” for the saffron party.

“Does the prime minister need to get some special visa issued by Tejashwi Yadav to come here”, Prasad asked even as he hit back at the former Bihar Deputy CM for raising a fresh demand for central status to Patna University.

“Tejashwi Yadav should tell us whether his father Lalu Prasad, who ruled Bihar for long and, later, became a minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet, cared to raise these demands”, said the Patna Sahib MP.

He added “The people of Bihar, though, should rest assured that whatever is needed for the state will be done by us. It was during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time that the engineering college in Patna got upgraded to NIT. Modi’s tenure saw the setting up of an AIIMS here besides an IIM at Bodh Gaya”.

Choudhary, who was earlier in the RJD, took potshots at Lalu Prasad for claiming credit for the implementation of the Mandal Commission when the latter was the Chief Minister of Bihar.

“Prasad is ailing and old age seems to have caused memory loss. He should take rest and recall that even the VP Singh government at the Centre at that time was way short of majority. BJP deserves its own share of credit for not just kamandal (Hindutva) but also Mandal”, asserted Choudhary.

The state BJP president added, “Lalu Prasad should also remember that but for the support of our party, the Janata Dal could not have formed a government with him as the chief minister”.

“The fact remains, Prasad has always been intent on giving benefits of reservations and other facilities only to castes and communities he counts on as his supporters. The prime minister is right in flagging a conspiracy to steal benefits meant for SCs, STs and OBCs”, alleged Choudhary.

“During the 15 years that Lalu Prasad and Rabri ruled Bihar by turns, only their family got all benefits. They keep peddling lies that the Constitution is under threat from BJP and Modi. Of course, we were opposed to bad laws like Article 370 which was scrapped”, added Choudhary.

To Tejashwi Yadav’s taunt that the opposition has forced the PM to hit the streets, the Bihar BJP chief responded: “Modi is a ‘fakir’ (renunciate). Tejashwi and his father have deep pockets”.

A question was posed to Ravi Shankar Prasad about the fresh controversy around “south Indians look like Africans” remark of Sam Pitroda, the technocrat who heads Indian Overseas Congress.

Prasad replied “he is known to be an advisor to Rahul Gandhi. I can now understand why the Congress leader often ends up with his foot in the mouth. The remark betrays Sam Pitroda’s ignorance about the country and desperation over the imminent defeat of his favourite party”.

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