Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Rahul's campaign will help BJP win in Jharkhand: Amit Shah

Giridh, Reuters | Updated : 10 December 2014, 05:40 PM

Chief of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah on Wednesday (December 10) sought votes for development as he addressed an election rally in Giridh in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

The state goes to polls on December 14, in the fourth phase of assembly elections, amid calls of boycott by the Maoist rebels.

Citing example of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, ruled by his BJP, Shah claimed the state had better facilities in terms of water, electricity and roads compared to Jharkhand.

"I have come to assure you that once the people of Jharkhand decide that they want a BJP government in the state, the BJP under the leadership of Modi will make Jharkhand India's number one state," he said.

Jharkhand boasts of the country's biggest coal and iron reserves, but the state has lagged in development.

Shah also took jibes at the Vice-President of opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi. He said Rahul's campaigning in the state would only help his BJP to form a government in the state.

"Some days ago I read in the newspapers that Rahul is coming to Jharkhand to campaign. As soon as I read that, I became sure that BJP will win in this state because wherever Rahul goes to campaign, BJP wins," he said.

He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could associate with poverty since he was a tea-seller, unlike Gandhi who was born "with a silver spoon in his mouth".

Assembly elections in the state commenced on November 25 and will conclude on December 20. Counting of votes will take place on December 23.

Maoists have called for a poll boycott. However, this has not deterred voters from exercising their franchise in large numbers. More than 60 percent voters turned up to cast votes in the first three phases.

The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swath of central and eastern India, and grew in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industrialisation.

Maoists seek the violent overthrow of the Indian state but have so far not managed to spread significantly into urban areas.

They have killed police and politicians and targeted government buildings and railway tracks in an insurgency that has killed thousands since the 1960s.

First Published: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 05:37 PM
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