PM Modi backs Nitish as NDA’s face in Bihar polls

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NEW DELHI: Prime minister Narendra Modi practically kicked off the NDA’s campaign in Bihar, endorsing Nitish Kumar as the ruling coalition’s face in the forthcoming polls by acknowledging the chief minster’s “big role” in creating a “New India, New Bihar”.
“There was a time when road connectivity, internet connectivity were not discussed. Being a landlocked state, Bihar faced many challenges… Nitish Kumar has played a big role in our aim towards a New India, New Bihar,” the PM said while inaugurating Rs 900 crore worth projects built by IndianOil and HPCL to augment LPG supply in the state.
PM’s endorsement comes in amid opposition from a section of the his own party, the BJP, and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP to the idea of projecting Kumar as the face of NDA’s face in the polls.
With Kumar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan listening in on the online ceremony, the PM minced no word to make his views clear. “In the last 15 years Bihar has shown that if the right government is elected in a state, benefits of government’s schemes can reach its people,” he said putting his stamp of approval in the chief minister’s leadership in making sure the Central welfare schemes reached common people.
Pradhan, on his part, said the PM is committed to the development of eastern India and ensuring a bright future for the people of Bihar. The projects inaugurated by the PM form the foundation of an “#AatmanirbharBihar” and will usher a new era of prosperity for the people of Bihar.
The projects will cater to the growing LPG demand in the state, ensure availability of clean fuel for the people of Bihar and ensure women’s empowerment.
Among the projects, IndianOil’s LPG bottling plant at Banka will serve consumers in Bhagalpur, Banka, Jamui, Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar in Bihar along with Godda, Deoghar, Dumka, Sahibganj, and Pakur in Jharkhand. HPCL’s Harsidih plant will serve East Champaran, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Siwan, Gopalganj and Sitamarhi districts. The 679-km Durgapur-Banka pipeline will augment LPG feed to the state for bottling.
Modi had laid the foundation of the Banka pipeline project on February 17 last year and the Harsidih unit on April 10, 2018. The plants are expected to generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in Bihar.

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