On his election campaign trail for the second phase of Bihar Assembly polls, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday pitched for women voters by comparing his tenure to that of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, PTI reported.
“When he was sent to jail, he installed his wife [Rabri Devi] on the chair, but did nothing for the welfare of the women otherwise,” Kumar said at a rally in Parabatta in Khagaria district. Prasad, who became chief minister of Bihar in 1990, had anointed his wife on the chair after he was sent to jail in 1997 over multi-crore fodder scam cases.
Kumar claimed in his tenure he gave reservation to women in panchayats and urban local bodies, besides providing quotas to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward classes. “If Bihar has progressed today, the biggest reason is women’s participation,” he added. “Promoting women is our commitment.”
The chief minister also stressed upon the prohibition of liquor which he implemented in the state in 2016. He has often said that the decision was taken keeping women’s demands in mind.
‘Tejashwi’s job promise bogus,’ says Nitish Kumar
The Bihar chief minister, who is fighting for a fourth straight term in Bihar, also countered Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav’s election promise of providing 10 lakh government jobs, calling it “bogus”, NDTV reported.
“These people keep saying we will give you jobs...all this is bogus talk,” he added. “They will say anything at all. They will try to mislead and confuse people.”
Yadav, the chief ministerial face of the Grand Alliance, has said that he will sanction 10 lakh government jobs in the first Cabinet meeting if voted to power. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Kumar’s ally in the elections, promised 19 lakh jobs in its poll manifesto.
During their time [Lalu and Rabri’s tenure] between 1990 and 2005, said Kumar, just 95,000 jobs were given - that too, when Bihar included Jharkhand and had not been bifurcated. “In our administration, over six lakh jobs were given and besides this many others were enrolled in other services,” he added, according to NDTV.
The second phase of Bihar elections will be held on November 3 and the third phase on November 7. The results will be declared in November 10. The first phase was conducted on 28 October, with 54.3% polling being recorded across 71 seats.