Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday released the party’s manifesto for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections. Yadav said that he could have made inflated promises about employment like the Bharatiya Janata Party, but instead chose to stick to his genuine assurance of 10 lakh jobs.
“We are promising 10 lakh jobs because that is the requirement,” Yadav said. “We could also have promised 50 lakh jobs, 1 crore jobs.” Yadav asked how the BJP will fulfil its promise of 19 lakh jobs, when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had himself expressed the inability to create 10 lakh jobs.
Yadav added that his promise will become a reality in the very first meeting of the state Cabinet, Hindustan Times reported. “This will be the first time in the country that 10 lakh employment opportunities will be created at one go,” he said.
Yadav said that Bihar had the capacity to create jobs. “The Bihar government can easily provide 4 lakh jobs,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV. “The state has a budget of Rs 2.13 lakh crore, of which only 60% has been spent.” He added that the state government had not been able to spend 40% of the amount.
The RJD leader said that Bihar had to compete with the national average of employment. “We want to make Bihar better,” he said. “This is our promise of change.”
Yadav is the chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, which comprises of the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Left. The alliance had released its manifesto last week, in which it promised to provide 10 lakh jobs and scrap the Centre’s new farm laws.
The BJP, on the other hand, promised free coronavirus vaccines and 19 lakh jobs. The party was heavily criticised for politicising the health crisis.
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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.
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, had announced an almost 50:50 seat-sharing agreement earlier this month.