Bihar polls: Nitish intensifies attack on Oppn as poll battle heats up

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday held up Bihar’s record of development during his 15 years in power and took a swipe at the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and its leader Tejashwi Yadav, as he sought another mandate for his coalition government in the three-phase assembly elections.

“See our work and see your record in your 15 years of rule. We know how to do work and how to get it done by others. On the other hand, there are people who don’t have any experience…what is needed in Bihar, they have neither any idea nor any experience to perform,” Kumar said in a speech by video link to 24 constituencies that will vote in the first phase on October 28. Tejashwi has promised to create one million jobs in Bihar and qualitatively transform health-care and other social sectors if the RJD’s alliance with the Congress and smaller parties is voted to power — a claim Nitish Kumar ridiculed.

“In their 15 years’ rule, 95,734 government jobs were created. And it includes the period when Jharkhand was part of Bihar. From 2005 till date, we have provided 6.8 lakh government jobs,” said the CM , whose Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). “Is there any province in the world which can claim to provide government jobs to all the youth?”

A survey conducted in February 2006, after he came to power towards the end of 2005, had shown that only 39 people on average used to visit a primary health centre in Bihar in a month, Nitish Kumar claimed. “The figure now stands at 10,000 visitors per month because of substantive improvements in the health-care system,” he said.

The CM claimed credit for opening an engineering college in every Bihar district, connecting villages with concrete roads, bringing them electricity and improving farmers’ incomes.

Kumar added that his government had worked for the welfare of all, irrespective of caste and religion.

“For us, the service of people is the biggest religion while for others, getting material benefits is the religion,” he said.

He reaffirmed that if given another chance, his government would unroll Saat Nischay (seven resolves) Part 2 to develop Bihar further.

In Part 1, launched during his 2015-20 term, comprised schemes to ensure basic amenities such as piped drinking water, functional toilets, sewerage and electricity.

The second part will focus on enhancing the skills of the young people to brighten their jobs prospects, promoting entrepreneurship among women, and reinforcing irrigation systems and health services, he said.

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