As relations between Nepal and India remain dangerously frozen over Madhes saga, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has charmed voters in Bihar saying he would end their darkness with electricity from Nepal.
He told a milling crowd of his fans as he canvassed in Bihar, “Brothers and sisters, I went to Nepal. I went to Bhutan. I reached agreements with the governments there and established factories of electricity that comes from water.”
He then went on to promise that once those ‘factories’ begin spewing electricity, it will be given to Bihar. The crowd appeared to love the promise and gave out a thunderous applause.
It remains to be seen how the Nepalese people, whose lives have been pushed back into the middle ages due to the Indian blockade as people cook up their wood-fired meals out in the open, will take the Modi speech in Bihar. Once popular in the Himalayan nation, his popularity has dwindled in Nepal following the blockade which India has consistently claimed is due to the problems on the Nepalese side.
His entire pitch revolved around electricity, right from the beginning. “I have three programmes for the state of Bihar – electricity, water and roads,” he said.
As if the crowd was not sufficiently excited, he repeatedly asked them, “Do you want electricity or not? Do you have electricity today?” to which the thousands of villagers emphatically yelled out, ‘No!”
Referring to the opposition, he said, “They say they will give computers, computers! Does a computer run without electricity?”