National Democratic Alliance (NDA) today informally launched its election campaign in Bihar where Assembly elections are expected to be held in October this year. For the ruling Alliance, Bihar elections has been crucial and it would certainly provide a performance appraisal of the Central government. The elections are crucial for the NDA, desperate to show that ‘Modi Magic’ continues to dominate the Indian minds. The magic is believed to be marginalised to great extent and that was reflected during Delhi Assembly elections early this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi certainly banks upon his development agenda and in Bihar, where his party would face formidable opponents- JD(U), RJD and Congress combine, caste politics alone can not bring in NDA to power. To move further, development agenda needs to be promoted aggressively. This is what, Modi did in Patna today. He launched several schemes including Deen Dayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojna and promised the people of Bihar more than Rs 50,000 crore development package.
“During Lok Sabha elections last year, I had promised to the people of Bihar Rs 50,000 crore development package. Now while sitting in Delhi, I found this amount is not enough for all round development of the state. I will keep my promise and would provide more than this,” Modi said while launching Gram Jyoti Yojana. However, he did not specify any time frame for this.
“I am not announcing this today and the package will be announced at appropriate time,” he assured.
The Prime Minister also declared his vision for agriculture sector. Speaking at the 87th ICAR Foundation Day Celebrations at Patna, he said the nation can no longer wait for the second green revolution, which must come from eastern India. He praised Indian scientists for their work despite budgetary constraints, and emphasized the need for scientific innovations in the agriculture sector to move from "lab to land," so that farmers can benefit from them.
Modi also stressed on the need for value addition in agriculture. He mentioned one of the recent episodes of the radio programme "Mann Ki Baat," where he had spoken about the need to increase production of pulses and oilseeds. He expressed happiness that based on data available so far, there appeared to be a huge increase in the sown area of pulses and oilseeds this year. He said India must aim to become totally self-sufficient in the agriculture sector.
The Prime Minister presented the ICAR Awards 2014, and launched five ICAR programmes. Launch and inauguration of several projects include Gram Jyoti Yojana; Daniawan-Bihar Sharif new railway line; Rajgir-Bihar Sharif-Daniawan-Fatuha passenger train and Patna-Mumbai AC Suvidha Express, Permanent IIT Campus at Patna; Foundation stone for Incubation Centre for Medical Electronics, Patna; and construction of the first phase of the Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline project.
Under the Gram Jyoti Yojna, an Agriculture intensive state like Bihar is expected to benefit from works of feeder separation. Thousands of kilometres of new lines shall be laid and hundreds of new substations have been planned. The implementation of this scheme can ensure the improvement in agricultural productivity and electrification of all the households.
The Prime Minister said development is the panacea for all problems related to poverty and unemployment. He expressed satisfaction that there is now a general agreement on this aspect, and states are even becoming competitive with regard to development. He said that India will progress only through the development of the States, and for this the Centre and States have to work together.
Emphasizing the importance of infrastructure, the Prime Minister said the gas pipeline and rail projects which were launched today would provide development and improve the quality of life of the people in the State. He said that if India has to progress, then the development of Eastern India is essential.
The Prime Minister said that IIT Patna, whose new campus was inaugurated today, should also cater to the State’s development needs. He expressed hope that the Incubation Centre for medical devices launched at the IIT, would help manufacture medical devices in India to make them easily accessible for all.