Bihar Elections 2020 – JD(U) v/s RJD Manifesto

The first phase of polling for the 243-seat Bihar Assembly is set to begin tomorrow. The incumbent Janata Dal (United) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Bihar is expected to receive tough competition from the opposition alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Indian National Congress (INC) and several Left parties. Let us look at the manifesto of Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) as well as that of Tejashwi Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal, which are the two major local parties in their respective alliances.

Janata Dal (United)’s Manifesto:

  1. Youth Power:
    • Training quality of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Polytechnics will be improved through the creation of a Centre of Excellence. Students studying in these institutions will be trained in new technologies including solar, drone techniques, optical fibre and networking, transformer manufacturing, information technology, among others.
    • Each district will have at least one mega skill centre, which will provide employment-oriented short-term training to people who cannot join ITIs or Polytechnics. Training will be given for skills including apparel making, refrigerator/air conditioning/solar panel mechanisms, beauty and wellness training, care giver training (care of old and sick people), among others.
    • Tool room and training centre will be established in each administrative division in the state. The tool room will have the latest cutting-edge machinery, which will be used to train students in ITIs and Polytechnics. Students who have passed 10th or 12th standard will also be trained here.
    • A new department for skill development and entrepreneurship will be established, which will contain both the ITIs and Polytechnics within its ambit. Entrepreneurship will be a part of the course curriculum for students in these institutions.
    • Government will help people who set up new businesses by providing a grant of 50% of the total project cost (with a maximum limit of 3 lakh rupees). Interest grant of 7% for loans up to 7 lakh rupees will be provided.
  2. Strong woman, Capable woman:
    • A special scheme will be brought in to promote women entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurs will be given a grant of 50% of the total project cost (with a maximum limit of 5 lakh rupees), and an interest-free loan of up to 5 lakh rupees will be given.
    • To encourage women to pursue higher education, unmarried single women who pass inter exams will be given financial assistance of ₹25,000 while those who pass graduation exams will be given ₹50,000.
    • Women’s participation will be increased through reservation in regional administration including police stations and block, subdivision, and district level offices.
  3. Water for irrigation to every field
    • By all possible means, water for irrigation will be provided to every field in the state.
  4. Clean Village – Prosperous Village
    • Solar streetlights will be installed in all villages and their maintenance will also be arranged.
    • Solid waste management and sewage management will also be arranged in villages.  Drains and lanes will be cleaned at the ward level.  Solid waste will be collected from each house and disposed of through appropriate technology.  Treatment will be done using suitable technique of the silt water released at the end of drains.
    • Plans from the previous Saat Nischay schemes such as tap water for every house, pucca street drains and toilets for every house, etc. will be fully maintained.
    • Milk production and processing, poultry, fisheries etc. will be encouraged using modern techniques.  Besides, fisheries will be promoted in ponds, pokhara and large reservoirs in other areas.  Modern fishing techniques will be spread, and work will be done on the entire production chain of fisheries.
  5. Clean City – Developed City
    • Solid and Liquid Waste Management will be arranged through appropriate technology in all cities.
    • Shelter will be provided for old people in all cities and arrangements will be made for better management and operation of the shelters.
    • Multi-storey housing will be made available to the homeless/landless poor people living in the city.
    • Mokshadham with electric crematoriums will be constructed in all cities and important river ghats
    • Storm water drainage system will be developed in all cities so that there is no problem of water logging.
  6. Accessibility
    • New roads connecting nearby villages to main roads and important places (block / police station / subdivision) or important facilities such as markets, hospitals, state highways and national highways will be built.
    • Bypass or flyover will be constructed as per requirement for the smooth operation of traffic in urban areas.
  7. Additional health facility for all
    • For every 8-10 panchayats, a veterinary hospital will be set up. Doorstep delivery will be provided for services such as medical facilities, vaccination, artificial insemination, mechanization for animals. All medical facilities for animals will be provided free of cost.
    • Health services will be provided through telemedicine to Primary Health Centre/Community Health Centre, Subdivision Hospital and District Hospital.  The hospitals will be connected, and medical counselling facilities will be made available.  Screening for diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and cataract will be done, and cases of serious illness will be referred.

Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manifesto:

  1. The process of time-bound fulfilment of a total of 10 lakh permanent jobs – 4.5 lakh posts kept vacant during the 15-year NDA regime, along with the creation of new 5.5 lakh permanent posts – will begin with the first signature in the first cabinet meeting.
  2. The application forms for examinations to all government positions will be free to the youth of the state and the journey from home district to examination centre within the state will also be free.
  3. ‘Karpoori Shramvir Sahayata Kendra’ will be set up in every state of the country, from where the Bihar government will be able to provide help to the migrant labourer and his family in case of any kind of disaster and need.
  4. Under MNREGA, work per person instead of per family will be provided, minimum wages will be guaranteed and working days will be increased from 100 to 200.  Urban employment scheme will also be made on the lines of MNREGA.
  5. The policy of “equal work, equal pay” will be implemented by abolishing the contractual practice, providing permanent employment to the employed teachers, and eliminating privatization in all departments.  Also, permanent and regular jobs will be arranged.
  6. The new contributory pension scheme implemented in the state from the year 2005 will be discontinued and the old pension scheme will be implemented like before.
  7. Extension of rights will be provided to Executive Assistants, Statistical Volunteers, Librarians, Anganwadi servants and assistants, ASHA workers, mid-day meal kitchen workers, rural doctors, and Jeevika Didis.  It will be started by doubling the existing honorarium of ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and assistants, and kitchen workers, and by providing regular salary/jobs to Jeevika Didis.
  8. All cadres of Jeevika self-help groups will be made permanent. All cadres will get an honorarium of at least ₹4,000 per month.  Jeevika SHG loan will be topped up to ₹3,00,000-₹4,00,000 which will be double the existing rate ₹1,00,000-₹2,00,000.
  9. Priority will be given to revive the closed industries like sugar mills, jute mills, paper mills in the state.  Food processing industries/units, industry specific clusters, food parks, IT parks, special economic zones (SEZs) for the construction sector, government godowns, cold storage and warehouses near each market will be constructed and established.
  10. Corruption will be eliminated in police stations and block offices.
  11. Eviction and demolition of houses of the rural and urban poor and the street carts of urban street vendors will be prevented until there is an alternative system to rehabilitate them.
  12. Immediate and long-term policies and measures for flood control, water management, and rehabilitation of flood victims will be implemented.
  13. A law will be passed in the Bihar Legislative Assembly that will thwart the three anti-farmer laws of the central government in Bihar. Under this law, government procurement will be guaranteed at one and a half times the cost price of the crops from the mandis of the state, and a purchase centre will be established in each Panchayat.
  14. Agricultural loans will be waived off and agricultural land cess will be pardoned. Loans, electricity, water, fertilizer, seeds, etc. will be made available to all at cheaper rates.
  15. Super specialty hospitals will be constructed in all the administrative divisions.  Dialysis centres will be opened in each district’s main hospital, in which dialysis facilities will be provided to the poor.
  16. State budget on education will be increased to 12%. One teacher for every 30 students in primary schools, and one teacher for every 35 students in middle schools will be guaranteed. Permanent jobs and regular training of teachers will be provided.
  17. Teaches will be appointed for fine arts, computer education and sports in all schools. Whitepaper on Ambedkar Hostel, Kasturba Schools and other schools and hostels for SC/ST students will be issued within 6 months, based on which there can be repair in their infrastructure and facilities.
  18. Repair of infrastructure of universities and colleges, regularization of academic session and examination will be done in a systematic manner.  The problems of employees of unlicensed colleges will be treated meaningfully.
  19. Bureaucracy will be freed from political control on priority.  A merit-based SOP will be prepared for the transfer process with special attention to departmental evaluation and performance.
  20. Existing electricity rates in Bihar will be reduced.
  21. Clean drinking water, electricity and pucca road will be ensured in every village/hamlet and every house.  Every poor person will be provided a house under the proposed ‘Ambedkar Awas Yojana’ (Ambedkar Housing Scheme).  Every panchayat will have free computer centres for the villagers, solar community building with LED screens and solar tube wells.
  22. Infrastructure will be strengthened in Bihar by constructing new bridges-culverts, expressways, airports and equipping tourist destinations with world-class facilities.  Commitment to include Bihar in the category of developed states while giving priority to all-round development in the state. System of law will be strengthened by modernizing the police department and providing world-class training to police personnel.
  23. Under the ‘Smart Gram Yojana’ (Smart Village Scheme), clinics with accredited doctors and trained nurses will be opened in every panchayat.
  24. Municipal bodies will be developed based on a time-bound master plan. Land will be provided at concessional rates along with tax rebates. Loans will be given at minimum rates and uninterrupted power supply will be provided.
  25. All statutory rights of the people including the right to peaceful protest will be protected. In Bihar, no agitators or innocent citizens will be harassed by using fake cases.  A resolution will be passed in the Bihar Legislative Assembly against such unjust practices and arrests in the country.

P.S. JD(U)’s manifesto (in Hindi) can be found here, while RJD’s manifesto (also in Hindi) can be found here.