Patna: Like in the past three Assembly elections in Bihar, Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is hoping to coast to victory to his record fourth term in the 2020 state polls, is back on his campaign mode offering sops to different social groups to ensure their votes while also announcing a slew of developmental projects, all of which curiously expected to be finished in the next five years.
Speaking at a press conference in Patna on Tuesday, Kumar once again revived the ghost of the Patna Metro Rail saying it would be complete by the end of 2025 thus bringing much-needed relief to the overcrowded state capital.
The ambitious multi-billion-dollar project, initially announced in 2008 shortly after Kumar came into power for the first time in 2005, had been gathering dust in the government files for the past several years with occasional mention of it only when the government attempts to show its commitment towards the development of the state.
During the inauguration of hundreds of new projects totaling in excess of Rs. 13.5 crores, Kumar on Tuesday said that his government had already changed the face of Bihar by building many new roads and bridges and the addition of the proposed metro rail would only add to the convenience of the people of Patna.
In order to make it appear a serious effort by his administration and not just rhetoric like in the past, the Chief Minister then went on to provide details of the metro rail and various ‘corridors’ that it would operate under. He boasted about its 35km run of which, he added, about 10km would be underground and the remainder 25km elevated. He also went on to name train’s stops at various places in Patna including Saguna Mor, RPS Mor, Pataliputra Station, Rukunpura, Raja Bazaar, Patna zoo, Vikas Bhawan, Vidyut Bhawan, Patna station, Mithapur, Ramkrishna Nagar, Jaganpura, and Khemnichak Patna Junction, All India Radio station, Gandhi Maidan, Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Patna University, Moinul Haque Stadium, and Rajendra Nagar.
Kumar then turned his attention towards the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) stating the party had shrunk into the party of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family members including his wife Rabri Devi, youngest son and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, and daughter Misa Bharti.
“Unlike the RJD, the entire state of Bihar is our big family. We are known by our works and no amount of rumors, lies, or deceptive ads are going to change the opinion of the people of Bihar,” he declared.
In the reminiscent of his past election campaigns, the Chief Minister said that public service was his religion and the voters were the true ‘malik’ (owner) of the state. “If they gave us another chance by voting us into power, I will once again serve them like I have served them in the past,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of ticket-hopefuls gathered outside the party office in Patna to make their case for a party ticket for the upcoming state polls. Kumar met with 121 of them on Tuesday and assured them to look into their case individually.