This is Bihar’s ‘problem’ government, Tejashwi says at GA meeting

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PATNA: Presenting a year-and-a-half “review” of the Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance government in Bihar on Sunday, opposition leader and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav blasted the state government for its failure on several fronts and urged the people to remain ready for a long drawn out battle against the communal forces.

“Some say it’s a dual-engine government. But it’s a ‘trouble-engine’ government in Bihar, where rising prices, agricultural distress, workers and unemployment are at their peak and the Constitution is threatened,” Tejashwi said during a Mahagathbandhan (GA) sponsored speech held at Bapu Sabhagar in Patna.

Left-wing party leaders including Dr Raja of the Community Party of India (CPI), Sitaram Yechuri of the CPI (Marxist) and Dipankar Bhattacharya of the CPI (ML) also spoke at the meeting, which coincided with the Day of total revolution.

Attacking the Nitish government for the growing miseries of the oppressed, minorities and underprivileged sections, Tejashwi said the NDA, which won just 12,000 more votes than the GA, formed the government through back doors. “The total number of GA votes would have exceeded the NDA if Bochahan’s indirect vote results were taken into account. The AG had won the seat by a margin of 36,000 votes,” he said, alleging that the Bihar government is run according to instructions from Nagpur.

The Leader of the Opposition also launched a veiled attack on Congress for quitting the GA and said they (the Congress leaders) broke away because they bowed to secular forces. “Ambition is a good thing in politics. But too ambitious often gets you nowhere,” Tejashwi said, adding that the ruling coalition had established the narratives around Hindu-Muslims, Mandir-Masjid and Kashmir that help to mobilize sentiment votes. “No one is ready to discuss real issues like deteriorating state conditions, Bihar special status issue,” he added.

RJD leader Lalu Prasad, who was unable to attend the event due to illness, called on people who believe in secular ideology to stand united and fight against fascist forces, which had pushed the country on the brink of civil war due to uncontrolled price increases, unemployment and corruption.

Quoting the Bihar Economic Survey report, the newsletter claimed that although the state’s per capita income has been growing steadily, it has remained nearly stagnant since 2005 when compared to the national average. Similarly, there was no change in the state’s Human Development Index between 2011-12 and 2017-18.

Citing statistics from the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCACR), the bulletin says there was marginal growth in the agricultural sector in 2001-02 and 2017-18 (2.04%) compared to growth 1.98% during the year 2001-02. and 2007-08. This, despite the fact that the state government had launched three roadmaps for agriculture. The report states that the wheat supply system suffers from inconsistencies, which incur losses to farmers.

According to the Niti Aayog report, 2021, around 50% of people still do not have a toilet in the state despite the incentives given to people to build them under the open defecation free mission. Over 63% of people still depend on firewood or cow dung patties for cooking while over 65% have no pucca house.

In terms of health infrastructure, Bihar remained ranked 18th out of the 19 major states. While the number of primary health centers increased slightly in 2021 compared to 2005, the number of sub-health centers and community health centers (CHCs) decreased over the same period. About 65% of the positions of doctors and technical staff remained vacant in the various health establishments.

The report also cornered the government on the issue of alleged irregularities in recruitments by Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) and State Selection Committee (SSC), school attendance, failure to the prohibition and corruption law in the CM’s seven resolution programs, among other issues. .

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature (CLP) party leader Ajit Sharma attacked the RJD for not inviting the party to the event, alleging the mandate was for the GA including Congress and not only for the parties of the RJD and of the left. “There should at least be pictures of senior congressional brass on the banner because the fight against communal forces could not be accomplished without it,” Sharma added.

Earlier speaking to the media, CM Nitish Kumar said that he did not take note of such things (government report). “We are workers, we do not advertise. We don’t pay attention to all these things,” Kumar said.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Subhash Pathak is Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times with over 15 years of journalism experience, covering issues related to governance, legislature, police, Maoism, urban and road infrastructure in Bihar and Jharkhand.
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