BJP manifesto for Bihar poll promises 19 lakh jobs, free covid vaccine

Patna, October 22

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday released the BJP’s manifesto for the Bihar assembly elections which seeks to reach out to the youth with the promise of 19 lakh jobs in the next five years, farmers with the assurance of bringing lentils under the MSP regime and promise of free of cost vaccination for coronavirus.

Carrying the tagline “BJP hai to bharosa hai”, the party drew heavily upon the trust enjoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the masses by virtue of pro-people measures such as the Jan Dhan scheme and the Ujjwala Yojana.

Bihar is a politically sensitive state. Here, people cannot be fobbed off with empty promises. Claims made by parties are likely to be weighed against their past track record. This is where the BJP scores, Sitharaman told a press conference where she released the manifesto.

We have the confidence that we can deliver on our promises. In the last six years, all the programmes announced by the Prime Minister have been implemented, be it electrification of villages, gas cylinders for poor women or financial inclusion of all citizens by getting accounts opened in their name in banks, she asserted.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference ahead of the Bihar Assembly Election in Patna on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

The highlights of the party’s vision document, displayed through a PowerPoint presentation, include the promise of free of cost vaccination for coronavirus and recruitment of three lakh teachers in primary, secondary and higher educational institutions.

The party also proposed to develop the state, which has so far largely remained untouched by the boom in information technology, into an IT hub holding out the promise of five lakh jobs in the sector.

The manifesto also said a large number of people will be provided employment in the health sector which is in for a major facelift through projects like the AIIMS at Darbhanga.

Other attractive promises include self-reliance for one crore women through microfinance, pucca houses for 30 lakh people and a boost to fisheries making Bihar number one in the sector.

It also promised a fresh impetus to the dairy sector with setting up of 15 milk processing units.

A boost to the production of maize, fruits, vegetables, betel leaves, honey and makhana etc. has been promised, and to facilitate these a conglomerate of 1,000 farm producer organisations has also been proposed.

Yet another promise made in the manifesto which is likely to find resonance among students is introducing Hindi as a medium of instruction for medical, engineering and other technical courses.

Our promises are backed by credibility. Compare the situation in Bihar between 1990 and 2005 (when the RJD was in power) with the changes that occurred after we took over. You will get a clear picture, Sitharaman said.

During the NDA rule, the states growth rate in the industrial sector has been 17 per cent. In contrast, we are unable to find the figures for the preceding 15 years, apparently because industries were never on the radar of the previous government, she remarked with a smirk.

The BJP received huge criticism for making the promise of providing free COVID-19 vaccination.

BJP’s Amit Malviya reacted to the widespread criticism of the party’s poll promise of free vaccine saying: “BJP’s manifesto promises free COVID-19 vaccine.” Like all programs, the center will provide vaccines to states at a nominal rate. It is for the state governments to decide if they want to give it free or otherwise. Health being a state subject, Bihar BJP has decided to give it free. Simple. ” PTI

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