Bihar elections 2020.

Bihar elections 2020.

Grand Alliance releases Bihar poll manifesto; pledge for change

Bihar polls: Caste factor reflects in selection of RLSP candidates

Agency Report | Patna | 17 October, 2020 | 11:20 PM

The Grand Alliance in Bihar releases its joint election manifesto or 'Sankalp Patra', and reiterates its commitment to give 10 lakh jobs to the state's youths and waive farm loans if returned to power.

Entitled ‘Our Pledge for Change’, the manifesto was released by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav in the presence of Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala and other Grand Alliance or Mahagathbandhan partner leaders.

The manifesto promises to waive fees for various recruitment examinations in Bihar, apart from travel cost of candidates to the examination centres. Candidates of all castes and communities will be exempted from fee payable for government recruitment. They will also be able to travel free of cost from district headquarters to the examination centres inside the state.

It also promises ‘same pay for same work’ for contract teachers, apart from opening Karpuri labour distress centres.

One person from each rural family would be included under MGNREGA, and policies made to create more jobs under this scheme. Privatisation in every government department will be abolished and casual employees made permanent in the same departments, the manifesto promised.

Taking a dig at the Nitish Kumar government, Tejashwi said Bihar had failed to get special status even when a ‘double engine’ government was in power in the state and the Centre. “Will US President Donald Trump come to get Bihar the special status?” he asked.

Congress state President Madan Mohan Jha, Congress leader Akhilesh Singh, CPI-ML leader Shashi Yadav, CPI-M leader Arun Sinha, and CPI leader Ram Babu Kumar were also present on the occasion.

The elections for 243 Assembly seats will be held in three phases — for 71 seats on October 28, for 94 seats on November 3, and remaining 78 on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.

Despite the claims of the political parties that development will be the core issue in the Assembly election this year in Bihar, caste politics continues to play the crucial role. The parties are selecting candidates on the basis of caste dominance in a particular area and the same reflects in the candidate list of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP).

The party issued a list of 37 candidates for the first and the second phase on Friday night, and 18 of them represent the Koiri caste and two are from the Kurmi caste.

Both castes are considered as the traditional vote bank of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

However, Upendra Kushwaha, the chief of the RLSP has always been considered as a challenger to Nitish Kumar due to his capability to intrude into the Koiri-Kurmi (KK) formula of Kumar. The eKK’ formula is similar to the Muslim-Yadav (MY) equation of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

This makes Kushwaha a prominent leader in Bihar and he even managed to take a seat in the Union cabinet of Narendra Modi government’s first tenure.

Besides Koiri and Kurmi, the RLSP has given tickets to four Muslims, three Yadavs, three Rajputs, one to a Bhumihar candidate, three to the Paswan community, two to Dalits and one to a Kayastha leader.

The RLSP is contesting on 104 seats in Bihar under the umbrella of the Grand Democratic Secular Front (GDSF). It’s another alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party is contesting on 80 seats, AIMIM on 24, Samajwadi Janata Dal on 25, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party on five and Janwadi Party Socialist on five seats.

BSP chief Mayawati is expected to address two rallies in Bihar from October 23 onwards.

The Bihar Assembly election is going to be held in three phases starting from October 28. Second phase polling is on November 3 and third on November 7. The results will be announced on November 10. (IANS)