Elusive About Offering Employment, Nitish Kumar Mocks Tejashwi's 10 Lakh Job Promise
Nitish Kumar in an exclusive interview with News18 India.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, fighting for yet another term in the state under the NDA banner, on Sunday said those political parties "promising jobs" were evading ground realities, while pitching for more tech-based jobs once brought to power.
On the last day of political campaigning for the second phase of the elections in the state, Kumar once again questioned the 10-lakh government poll promise made by RDJ's Tejashwi Yadav. JD(U)'s ally BJP has promised 19 lakh jobs.
"The RJD has no idea what they are talking about when it comes to jobs. In a United Bihar during their 15-year regime, they had failed to provide even 10 lakh jobs. During their 15 year-period, they created 95,000 jobs in Bihar. In comparison, during our 15-year rule we created more than 6 lakh jobs," Kumar said in an exclusive interview to CNN-News18.
However, he remained elusive on the promise of providing employment. "People know there are more jobs in the state than before. When we come back to power we are going to push for more tech-based jobs. Some are lying about the ground realities," he said.
"There will be more push given to technology-based training in the state, so that no one has to go outside. And what we have to order from outside, we won't need to, we will have everything here," he said.
At an e-rally earlier in the day, Kumar asked: "Where will you give jobs from? What sort of money do you have? Giving so many jobs will mean paying Rs 1 lakh 44 thousand crore annually. Where will you get this money from?" For a state with a budget of Rs 2.11 lakh crore, Kumar said paying well over half of its financial resources in salaries would mean stopping all other works.
"In your parents' 15-year rule, the state budget was at its max Rs 24,000 crore. We brought it to its present position by carrying several development works. So will you stop all other works in order to meet your poll promise? In your parents' time, government workers did not get their salary on time. Will you hire so many people again to not pay them?" Kumar asked.
"When I went to campaign against the 15 years of RJD rule in 2005, teachers, professors everywhere told me that they hadn't been paid their salaries. This is what will happen when these people come to power again," he said. "They're promising the moon. They are spreading myths and we should be on guard at all times against them. We have already made several changes to the industrial policy of the state which will allow for the creation of many jobs. Nobody will have to go outside the state in search of work."
The RJD-led Grand Alliance (GA) has promised to offer jobs to 10 lakh youngsters if voted to power. Releasing the manifesto titled "Badlav Ka Sankalp" (commitment to change), Tejashwi Yadav earlier said his government, if elected, would first approve the process for appointments on about 10 lakh jobs in the government.
Yadav has also repeatedly accused Kumar of “snatching jobs” from the youth of Bihar. He said that he, as the then deputy chief minister, had urged the CM against introducing privatisation in all sectors, a move which the RJD leader said had progressively snatched away livelihoods from the people of Bihar.
In response to Yadav's job promise, the BJP in its own manifesto has promised to provide 19 lakh jobs. The party has promised three lakh jobs to teachers within the first year, five lakh jobs in the IT sector for which it has promised to build a 'next generation IT hub', one lakh jobs in the medical sector, and 10 lakh jobs in the agriculture sector. Thirty lakh pucca houses by 2022 and making one crore women financially independent by extending Rs 50,000 crore in micro finance institutions, are some of the other major poll promises made by the BJP.