Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Grand Alliance focuses on jobs, farm laws in its manifesto

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Grand Alliance (GA) or Mahagathbandhan on Saturday released its manifesto for the upcoming Bihar elections, promising to block the three farm laws recently enacted by the Centre and creating employment opportunities in the state.

Releasing the manifesto titled ‘Badlav Ka Sankalp’ (Commitment to Change) along with senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala and other GA leaders, the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav said if elected, their government will approve appointments to about a million government jobs.

“Contractual teachers would be entitled to the same pay for the same work, for which they have been agitating for long,” said Yadav, the Opposition alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.

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Surjewala said the GA government will work towards repealing the three farm laws, which he said defeated the goals of Green Revolution, from its first assembly sitting. “If we form the government, under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, we will pass a bill in the first Vidhan Sabha session to scrap the three anti-farm laws. Can PM [Narendra] Modi and [CM] Nitish [Kumar] tell us that if all mandis are destroyed then how will the farmers get MSP [Minimum Support Price]?” he said.

The Bihar elections will be held in three phases, with the first taking place on October 28, the second on November 3 and the third on November 7, while counting of votes will take place on November 10, the Election Commission announced in September.

Assuring voters that the Opposition alliance partners will stand by their commitments, Yadav said the state has still not been accorded a special status, a demand raised by political parties for years in Bihar. A Special Category Status is a classification given by the central government to aid the development of those states that face geographical and/or socio-economic disadvantages.

“(Donald) Trump will not come to accord special status to Bihar, which was once promised by the Prime Minister,” the 30-year-old former state deputy chief minister said, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- Janta Dal (United) combine of betraying the people of Bihar.

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Yadav, who the leaders of the state’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have targeted for being “inexperienced”, sought to counter their charge by saying that a vision for development does not necessarily come with age.

“We have laid the foundation of development with great vision. I as a minister of road construction department proposed the development of dedicated expressway to connect the Bihta airport. Many state highways were converted as the national highways (NHs),” the RJD leader said.

The leaders of the ruling alliance, however, dismissed the GA’s manifesto as a political illusion. “The Congress, which used to grab land from farmers, is now showing itself to be farmer-friendly,” Bihar deputy CM and BJP leader Sushil Modi said.

JD(U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said the RJD should not talk about increasing employment as it had failed to alleviate poverty during its 15-year tenure in the past. “The RJD brought disgrace to the state and Tejashwi is again trying to establish the regime of terror and plundering,” added Prasad.

(With agency inputs)

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