'Was Anything Done for Women Apart from Putting Wife on CM Chair': Nitish Kumar Taunts Lalu Prasad
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addresses a virtual election meeting in Patna. (Image: PTI/File)
RJD president Lalu Prasad, who became chief minister of Bihar in 1990 had made his wife Rabri Devi the chief minister when he had to go to jail in 1997 in connection with a multi-crore fodder scam case.
- PTI Nabinagar/Dinara
- Last Updated: October 17, 2020, 19:32 IST
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Taking a swipe at his bete noire Lalu Prasad, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said during 15 years of RJD rule in Bihar except for anointing wife on the chief miniterial chair did the government do anything for the upliftment of women. He took an apparent dig at the young opposition leadership in the polls, without taking any names, saying that "those even having no knowledge of alphabets of politic are making statements against me day and night to gain publicity".
"Let them take publicity, I don't bother because I believe in working and not making speeches for the sake of publicity," he said addressing rallies in Nabinagar in Aurangabad and Dinara in the neighbouring Rohtas district. Though he did not take any name, the message seems directed at RJD's Tejashwi Yadav and LJP chief Chirag Paswan who are making all-out attack on Kumar.
After launching campaign for the current Bihar polls Monday with a virtual rally, Kumar started touring the state from Wednesday to address public meetings. On Saturday, he held public meetings at Nabinagar, Nokha, karaghar and ended at Dinara in Rohtas district.
Coming down heavily on his main opponent Lalu Prasad, he reeled out comparative data to tell people about the situation prevailing in the state before NDA under him took over the reins in 2005 end. Making special mention of condition of women during the two regimes, Kumar said "while the leader at that time installed wife on the chair (of CM) but did he do anything for welfare of the females?" RJD president Lalu Prasad, who became chief minister of Bihar in 1990 had made his wife Rabri Devi the chief minister when he had to go to jail in 1997 in connection with a multi-crore fodder scam case.
Prasad spent long time in prison and in his absence Rabri Devi continued to hold CM post. Her chief ministerial tenure even exceeds that of Prasad's seven years.
Nitish Kumar as leader of the NDA had thrown the RJD out of power in November 2005 and since then he is at the helm of the state affairs. Like in the past, Kumar, who has been declared the NDA face in the polls, kept his focus on the RJD which is spearheading Grand Alliance and continued to attack his main political rival Lalu Prasad, spending time in Ranchi jail after conviction in four cases of fodder scam.
Kumar is keeping his campaign narrative around "15 years vs 15 years", appealing voters to compare performance of the NDA and the RJD regimes that spent an equal amount of 15 years. Highlighting work done for women during 15-year under him, Kumar said while girls were inspired to pursue studies through bicycle yojna, 50 per cent of seats in the panchayats and urban local bodies were reserved for women.
More recently the state government earmarked 35 per cent of jobs for women in police force and other state government services. "Does any state has more number of woemn in the police force than Bihar?" he asked the crowd.
Kumar also made reference of launching JEEVIKA progrmme for the women by providing easy finance to women self help groups to empower them economically. "We had planned to enroll 10 lakh women through SHGs but the number has increased to 1.2 crore now," he said addressing a rally in Dinara in favour of state minister and JD(U) nominee from the seat Jai Kumar Singh.
He also talked about providing Rs 10,000 assistane to girls clearing plus two exam and Rs 25,000 to those completing graduation and said this would be increased to Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively if his government returns to power. Kumar highlighted bad law and order situation in Bihar during the RJD rule and cited latest figure of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) which placed Bihar on 23 rd position in terms of crime now.
The NDA chief ministerial candidate said while they believe in working for the people, the history of the opponents makes it clear that they work only for their wife, sons and children. "Due to this greed of working only for self, they are behind the bars," he said adding "some more will follow the suit." Though he did not take any names, the barbs were apparently dircted at Prasad and his family.
Kumar made rich praise of the central government in assisting development of Bihar and caring for its people. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi government is providing foodgrains to the poor free from March to November in the wake of coronovirus pandemic and also gave RS 6000 assistance to farmers as a help during the present crisis period," he said.
He said if voted to power the state and the centre would further step up efforts to see Bihar stand among the frontline states.