Nitish Kumar targets Modi’s Gujarat development model

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Patna, March 26 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday targeted BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Gujarat model of development, saying over two lakh children were farming cotton as labourers instead of going to schools.

“Over two lakh children have been deprived of school education and are working as labourers in farming cotton in Gujarat. It is a reality of much-publicised Gujarat development model,” Nitish Kumar said at public meetings at Dharhara and Khaira in Munger and Jamui Lok Sabha constituencies Wednesday.

He also questioned the model, saying there were no hospitals and doctors for people, particularly those living in rural areas. “What kind of development model is it where only rich enjoy healthcare and services?” he said.

Nitish Kumar said earlier, 81 of 100 tribals in Gujarat were dependent on agriculture but now this number has risen to 85. “My question is simple. If Gujarat is growing fast and developing, then why are tribals forced to earn their livelihood by depending on agriculture?”

He targeted Modi saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not even spared god to seek vote. “It is not surprising. Earlier, BJP played politics in the name of ‘Bhagwan’ Ram, now it is ‘Mahadev’, new god of the party,” he said in reference to the BJP’s slogan of “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi”.

The slogan has created controversy in Varanasi where Modi is contesting, and party leaders have asked followers to shun it after the RSS frowned upon it.

Nitish Kumar Tuesday also attacked the BJP and Modi during his public meetings in Karakat, Gaya, Aurangabad and Sasaram constituencies.

Bihar’s six of the 40 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls April 10 in the first phase. All these seats are in Maoist-affected districts.

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