The grand alliance in Bihar – Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) – on Saturday released its manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections. The alliance promised to scrap the new farm laws and focus on employment, ANI reported.
Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the Mahagathbandhan, or grand alliance, will pass a bill in the very first state Assembly session to do away with the farm laws. “Can PM Modi [Prime Minister Narendra Modi] and Nitish [Kumar] tell us that if all mandis are destroyed, then how the farmers will get MSP [minimum support price],” he said while launching the manifesto.
Surjewala added: “This election is the election of the new path and the new sky versus the Hindu-Muslim, this election is the election of new-age versus the experience of failure, this election is the election of self-reliance and progress versus division and hate. This election is the election of a new direction versus destruction.”
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is the alliance’s pick for the chief minister’s post, promised to create 10 lakh jobs in the state.
Yadav also hit out at the Centre for not fulfilling the promises it made to Bihar. “Trump will not come to accord special status to Bihar, which was once promised by the Prime Minister,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. Special status has been a long-standing demand of political parties in Bihar.
The RJD leader also opposed the claim that he was inexperienced and said that the vision for development did not only come with age. “As the deputy CM, we have laid the foundation of development with great vision,” he said, according to the newspaper. Yadav added that he had proposed the development of several key highways, when he held the road construction portfolio.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal will contest the Assembly elections from 144 seats, the Congress 70 and the Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) – will together contest from 29 seats. There are 243 seats in the Bihar Assembly.
The Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, have announced an almost 50:50 seat-sharing agreement earlier this month.
Voting for the Bihar polls will be held in three phases – the first on October 28, second on November 3 and the third on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10. This will be the first election to take place in the country amid the coronavirus crisis.