Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, who has made unemployment in Bihar a major poll issue, released the party's poll manifesto today reiterating his promise of 10 lakh jobs and better health infrastructure.
He also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for trying to "fool people".
"Employment and job are different. We're talking about 10 lakh government jobs... Our promise for 10 lakh jobs is genuine. We could have also made fake promises of 50 lakh jobs like the NDA government," said Mr Yadav about BJP's poll promise of 19 lakh jobs in Bihar.
The promise was made in BJP's poll manifesto a day after Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi questioned how the Grand Alliance Chief Ministerial candidate plans to pay the salary.
"The Bihar government can easily provide 4 lakh jobs... The state has a budget of Rs 2.13 lakh crore of which only 60 per cent has been spent. Nitish Kumar has not been able to spend the remaining 40 per cent, which is Rs 80,000 crore," the leader of Opposition said.
"We want to make Bihar better. For this we have to compete with the national (employment) average... This is not a manifesto. This is our promise for change. It is a vow. We will make it a reality... I repeat, Nitish Kumar is not being able to manage Bihar. He is tired," said Mr Yadav, who has been targeting BJP-backed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over issues of unemployment, pandemic mismanagement and indifference towards migrants.
Mr Yadav also took a swipe at BJP's Sushil Modi saying the Deputy Chief Minister did not come out to help when lakhs of migrant workers from Bihar were returning home in April.
"Bihar has not forgotten how Sushil Modi left migrants to fend for themselves saying they cannot be brought back because the state does not have resources," Mr Yadav said, adding that Mr Modi had said crime would increase in the state since migrant workers had been rendered jobless.
"The government said that Bihar's hard working people would commit robberies. They even said Bihar youth go to other states for work for fun," said Mr Yadav, whose promise of jobs has won him wild admiration during rallies.
The support has seemingly left BJP-led NDA rattled with its chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar questioning if Mr Yadav would get the money from "jail" - a reference to jailed RJD chief and his father Lalu Prasad Yadav - to fund these jobs.
It is noteworthy to mention that the RJD manifesto's cover page does not have former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's picture on it.
The RJD's promises include:
- 10 lakh government job for youths.
- Higher Minimum Selling Price (MSP) and loan waiver rates for farmers.
- Better health care facilities.
- "Smart villages" with concrete roads and free computer centres for locals.
- Increasing education budget to 22 per cent; inducting teachers in government schools on a war footing with focus on e-learning.
- Rs 1,500 unemployment allowance for youth up to the age of 35 years.
Bihar votes for a new government across three phases starting October 28, with results due November 10. While the BJP has backed the JDU, Congress has joined forces with the RJD and Left parties.
(With agency inputs)