Addressing his first rally in poll-bound Bihar, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the his past promises and accused him of lying to people about them.

“Do not lie to Biharis, Modi ji,” he said at an election rally at Hisua in Nawada district. “Did you give jobs to Biharis? Last elections, the prime minister promised 2 crores jobs, no one got them.”

The former Congress chief said more jobs will be lost in the coming days due to the government’s policies of privatisation in railways and the mining sector. “Lakhs of people will lose their jobs due to the prime minister,” he added.

He also attacked the Centre over the migrant crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown, alleging when workers from Bihar were being “chased away” from other states the prime minister did nothing to help them.

“He says that he bows before the labourers but does not help them when they need it,” Gandhi said. “You [migrant labours] kept walking, thirsty and hungry, for thousands of kilometres. But Modi ji did not give you trains. The government said you die, I don’t care.”

The Congress leader also accused Modi of having “insulted” the soldiers with his comment that there has been no intrusion into Indian territory in Ladakh. “They have seized 1,200 km of our land,” he said. “But when the Chinese army intruded, why did our prime minister insult our soldiers by saying that nobody entered into the Indian side?”

Gandhi also attacked the central government for passing the three new farm laws. “The Modi government has made the new farm laws to attack the farmers. First they put an end to Mandis and MSP in Bihar and now they are doing it in the entire country,” he said.

The Congress leader said that Modi speaks of serving the common people in public, but does not work for their interests. “In public, he says I bow my head to Army, farmers, labourers and small businessmen...But once he reaches home, he only works for Ambani and Adani,” Gandhi alleged.

Tejashwi Yadav promises 10 lakh jobs

Meanwhile, the Opposition alliance’s chief minister candidate Tejashwi Yadav, who was also present at the rally, reiterated his election promise of sanctioning 10 lakh government jobs in his first Cabinet meeting, if voted to power.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal leader said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has failed to provide employment and is not able to handle the affairs of the state anymore.

“Our chief minister says Bihar is a landlocked state so factories cannot be established in absence of sea. Nitish Ji, you have grown tired now and cannot handle Bihar anymore. Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana are also landlocked states, yet our people go there to work as they have factories.”

— RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav

Commenting on Modi’s visit to the state, Yadav said that he should speak about unemployment and the long-standing demand of granting special status to Bihar. He also said that the upcoming elections will not be fought on the issue of caste or religion but unemployment and poverty.

Yadav alleged that Kumar spent only 60% of Bihar’s Rs 2.13 crore-budget, asking what did his government do with the remainder of the amount, The Indian Express reported. He also accused the chief minister of ignoring people’s hardship during the nationwide lockdown. “Women were seeing walking 1,500 kilometers and Nitish Ji asked them to stay wherever they are,” the RJD leader said.

Yadav also asserted that his father and party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav will come out of jail on November 9 after securing bail in a fodder scam case and Kumar will have his farewell the next day.

The votes for the state assembly elections will be counted on November 10.