Patna: Seeking to lure voters in poll-bound Bihar, the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Sunday promised to provide “10 lakh permanent government jobs” if voted to power.
The populistic announcement was made at a press conference here by Tejashwi Yadav, the party’s chief ministerial candidate who is faced with the uphill task of holding his own against the formidable ruling NDA in the absence of his father and RJD boss Lalu Prasad.
“It is not just a vaada (empty promise). We will do what we have promised with mazboot iraada (firm resolve). If the RJD is able to form its government, filling up of 10 lakh posts all permanent, government jobs will be sanctioned in the very first cabinet meeting,” said the former deputy CM.
Assembly elections will be held in three phases in Bihar on October 28, November 3 and 7. The results will be announced on November 10.
In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Yadav said, “We are not like those who achieve power with a promise of two crore jobs every year and leave Bihar bankrupt after 15 years of rule.”
Yadav, who has been leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly since the abrupt exit of Nitish Kumar from the Grand Alliance robbed him of the deputy CM’s post and his party of power, accused the chief minister of inaction despite “lakhs of posts lying vacant in health, education and police departments”.
“Bihar is the most densely populated state in the country and about 60 per cent of its population is said to be young and of employable age.
“Still, there are so many vacant posts of doctors, paramedics, teachers and police personnel and Nitish Kumar did nothing to fill up these,” the 31-year-old RJD leader alleged.
He said his party intends to fill up the vacancies as well as increase the number of sanctioned ones since the state is plagued by an acute shortage of doctors, teachers and policemen.
“I would like to ask Nitish Kumar how does he go around boasting about improved law and order when Bihar has only 77 police personnel for every one lakh people and, as per the NCRB, reports a rape or a murder every four to five years,” the RJD leader charged.
Yadav further made it clear that these “10 lakh sthaayi sarkaari naukriyan” will be in addition to the jobs generated after growth in sectors such as agro-based industries and tourism.
“We have made this announcement after due consultation with economic experts. It is an attainable goal. We will come out with a blueprint shortly,” he added.
The RJD heads the Grand Alliance, comprising old ally Congress and new ones like the Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP and Mukesh Sahni’s VIP. Besides it tends to take along the Left parties which have had some following in the state sharply divided along caste lines.
Nonetheless, the coalition has been plagued by frequent squabbles and rebellions. It lost former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha to the NDA a month ago.
Kushwaha, too, has been striking a note of dissent of late, stressing that he would remain with the Grand Alliance only if the chief ministerial candidate is changed since he saw Tejashwi as “no match to” Nitish Kumar, the incumbent for the last 15 years.