Muzaffarpur, March 3 :
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to expand further, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said Monday.
Addressing a huge election rally here, Modi, who began his speech in Bhojpuri, said more political parties would join the NDA after LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan decided to return to the NDA’s fold.
“Many more parties will join the the NDA after the LJP joined it,” he said, sharing the stage with Paswan, who quit the multi-party alliance in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
“NDA is expanding,” the Gujarat chief minister said. “NDA is not just the National Democratic Alliance but the National Development Alliance.”
Modi added that the coming decade would see an improvement in the living standards of the poor.
“The coming decade will be a decade of development for the poor and the downtrodden.”
Modi took a dig at his opponents, saying they were more concerned about tackling him that the nation’s problems.
“Our priority is to find a solution to the problems of the country. Their priority is to find a solution to Modi!”
He underlined the value of maintaining peace in the country. “Without peace, harmony and unity, the country cannot develop.”
Some BJP leaders skip Modi rally
Unhappy over the BJP’s decision to ally with Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP for the Lok Sabha election, some senior BJP leaders kept away from Narendra Modi’s rally here Monday.
They included Bharatiya Janata Party national vice president C.P. Thakur, former minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Giriraj Singh and MP Kirti Azad.
Thakur and Giriraj Singh belong to the Bhumihar community and are otherwise vocal supporters of Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
Both are reportedly upset after the BJP joined hands with the LJP and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party of Upendra Kushwaha in Bihar. Paswan is the most prominent Dalit leader in Bihar.
Choubey, a legislator from Bhagalpur, and Azad, elected from Darbhanga, are Brahmins. They too are opposed to the alliance with the Lok Janshakti Party.
Choubey has publicly declared that the alliance would prove suicidal for the BJP. Choubey is also a known supporter of Modi.
Giriraj Singh and Choubey, however, claimed they did not attend the rally due to personal reasons.
“My brother met with an accident. So I postponed my visit to Muzaffarpur,” Giriraj Singh told IANS. Choubey said he skipped the rally due to health reasons.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 12 of the 40 seats while the Janata Dal-United, its ally, bagged 20 seats. The alliance of the two parties has since collapsed.