RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's younger son Tejashwi Yadav has been declared as chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance which also comprises of Congress and the Left parties.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday mocked rivals claim of bringing qualitative changes in the health and other fields if voted to power, asking them to look back at their track record during 15 years they were in power in the state. After he took reins of the state in 2005 end, a survey was conducted in February 2006 in which it came to light that only 39 people used to visit a primary health centre in the state in a month before him, while the figure now stands at 10,000 visitors per month because of substantive improvement in the healthcare system, he said. Kumar was addressing a virtual poll rally in support of JD(U) candidates trying their luck in the first phase of voting on October 28. Kumar, who also heads the ruling JD(U), kicked off election campaign Monday. He has already announced that from Wednesday he would start touring constituencies to garner vote in favour of the NDA nominees.
The JD(U) chief who has already made it clear that “15 years vs 15 years” would be the narrative for the present elections, reeled out comparative data during the two equal periods in different fields and urged voters to make a judgement and then vote. Without taking any name, Kumar sought to make light of the “tall claims” made by the rival RJD leaders of “bringing heaven on the earth” if voted to power. The Bihar chief minister had Monday ridiculed the RJD’s claim of approving 10 lakh government jobs at the very first cabinet on coming to power and wondered whether cabinet meetings were held properly during the 15 years of its rule. “See our work. We know how to do a work and how to get it done from others. On the other hand there are people who don’t have any experience…what is needed in Bihar they have neither any idea nor any experience to perform,” the JD (U) star campaigner said wryly. RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s younger son Tejashwi Yadav has been declared as chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance which also comprises of Congress and the Left parties.
Tejashwi, less than half the age of Kumar whom he addresses as “chacha” (uncle), is pitted against experienced Kumar who is seeking fourth straight term in power in the current elections. The RJD was in power in Bihar from 1990 to 2005. Kumar is at the helm of state affairs since then. Altogether 71 constituencies will be held in Bihar’s first phase of Assembly election. The JD(U) president reiterated that if voters give him another chance, his government would unroll “Saat Nischay” (Seven resolves) part II, to take up more developmental programmes in the state. Seven resolves part I, launched by the Nitish Kumar administration for its 2015-20 term, comprised seven schemes to ensure basic necessities such as supply of piped drinking water, construction of toilets and concrete drains and electricity connection to every household. Most of the projects have been completed. Its second part will focus on enhancing skill of youths to brighten their jobs prospect, promoting entrepreneurship among women by providing them financial assistance, irrigation facility to every agriculture field and additional health facilities for people and animals. Seeking to puncture the opponents claim on job creation, he said, during their 15 years rule a total of 95,734 people got recruitment in the government when even Jharkhand was part of it for the first 10 years. “During our 15 years, over 6 lakh youth received jobs,” Kumar said.
Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000. In a bid to reach out to the minority muslim voters, Kumar, the CM face of the NDA, refered to 1989-90 commnunal riots in Bhagalpur in which over 1000 people were killed in the communal clashes. “They seek vote in the name of minorities but did they do anything for them?” when we came to power the victim families of Bhagalpur riots were given a monthly pension of Rs 2500 every month which was doubled to Rs 5000 in 2013,” he said. Bihar has a GDP of Rs 4,14,977 crore now which was a meagre Rs 88,000 crore in 2006-07, he underscored.