Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday invoked Chhati maiya (Sun god), the most popular festival of the poll-bound Bihar while inaugurating and laying the foundation for seven projects worth ₹541 crore.
Assembly elections in the State are due in October-November.
Ahead of the polls, this was the third of Mr. Modi’s inauguration and foundation laying of several projects and plans through the virtual platform. He addressed similar programmes on September 11 and 13 and is scheduled to address more on September 18, 21 and 23.
“With the blessings of Chhati maiya, we’ll make Bihar free from sewage water and problems of women will be removed during worship of Chhath maiya”, he said.
The four-day Chhath festival is to be held in November third week.
The seven projects that Mr. Modi inaugurated and laid foundation are related to sewage treatment, river-front development and water supply under urban infrastructure plans.
Sewage into Ganga
“We’ve to stop sewage water falling directly through nullahs into the Ganga from cities situated on the banks… the cleanness of the water has its direct impact on those living in cities on its banks”, he said. Twenty important and big cities of the State are situated on the banks of the Ganga, he pointed out.
Mr. Modi obliquely attacked the 15-year RJD regime led by Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi from 1990 to 2005. He said the State, for a long time, accepted poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment as its fate, but the last one 15-year NDA governments of Nitishji and Sushilji had given priority to development with the involvement of civic bodies and gram panchayats.
The NDA government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came to power in November 2005.
‘Governance was absent’
The Prime Minister observed that there was an era in Bihar when governance was not the focus of the government. For different reasons, its villages lagged behind and development was stalled in cities. Even if development work took place, they were offered to scams. People, especially Dalits and underprivileged, had to face these problems for over a decade and they got mired in debt.
“But in the coming days, Bihar will be among those States where drinking water has reached every household… everyone has a dignified life full of modern facilities”, Mr. Modi stated in his nearly half-an hour address.
“With all these development projects and plans, the atmanirbhar [self-reliant] Bihar will give an impetus of atmanirbhar Bharat ”, he asserted.
Mr. Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Union Minister and BJP MP from Patna Sahib Ravi Shankar Prasad too participated in the virtual meeting.