Addressing his first election rally in poll-bound Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid tributes to the soldiers from the state who lost their lives in the Galwan Valley clash and the Pulwama attack.
"Sons of Bihar lost their lives in Galwan Valley for the tricolour and ensured Bharat Mata's head is held high. Jawans of Bihar were also martyred in Pulwama attack. I bow my head at their feet and pay respects," PM Modi said at the election rally in Sasaram.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and others, was speaking at the Biada Maidan in Sasaram.
Modi started his speech by paying tributes to former Union Minister late Ram Vilas Paswan, and former RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh in his speech.
PM Modi also lauded the timely and fast work done by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
"Bharat's heart is Bihar, Bharat's respect, pride is Bihar, Bharat's culture is Bihar, Bihar is the call for independence, the call for 'sampoorna kranti' (complete revolution) is Bihar, Atmanirbhar Bharat's flagship is Bihar. Whether it is for the security, or development of the country, the people of Bihar always stay in the front," he added, speaking in Bhojpuri.
The Prime Minister thanked the voters of the state for having decided to ensure the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) victory and recounted the woes of the state under the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) rule.
"The people of Bihar cannot forget the day when sunset meant all work had to be stopped. Today there are light, roads, and the most important thing there is that environment where the state's common resident can live without fear," he said speaking about the NDA rule.
"There were those days when under the purview of those who ran the government, dacoities, murders used to happen. Extortion used to happen, in those days when the girl used to step out of the house her family used to be worried till she returned. They used each government job as a source to earn lakhs and crores of rupees, they took bribes from Bihar's youth for posts. The generation might have changed today but the youths need to remember who pushed the state into such difficulties," he added.
This was Modi's first rally in boll-bound Bihar. He will address two more rallies in Gaya and Bhagalpur on Friday.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to hold 12 election rallies in Bihar starting from today.
Voting for Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, followed by counting of votes on November 10.
The ruling NDA in the politically-crucial state will face a challenge from the RJD-Congress alliance. While the BJP-JD(U) alliance and the Congress-RJD combine are firmly in place, LJP and some other regional parties have kept their options open.
In the outgoing assembly, the RJD has 80 members while the JD (U) has 69. The BJP has 54 seats, Congress has 25, while the remaining seats in the 243-member assembly are held by other parties.
(With ANI inputs)