Nitish announces Rs 2.7L cr sop for Bihar

Bihar package: CM makes bigger financial pledge than PM ahead of polls
Last Updated 28 August 2015, 19:25 IST

The competition is getting intense with each passing day. Ten days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package for poll-bound Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced an even bigger sop of Rs 2.7 lakh crore.

The announcement also came two days ahead of the much-hyped Swabhimaan rally organised jointly by the JD(U), RJD and the Congress.

Kumar’s ambitious scheme would cover five years and include free electricity, water, unemployment allowance for youths and even 35 per cent reservation for women in state government jobs.

Through this plan, the JD(U) leader has primarily eyed the youths and women, who form a big chunk of the electorate, and are expected to play a decisive role in the ensuing Assembly elections due in a few months.

“At present, 35 per cent reservation is given to women in recruitment in police, from the constable up to the inspector level. This provision will now be extended as we have decided to reserve 35 per cent seats for women in all other state government jobs,” said Kumar, who had reaped rich dividends in 2010 by reserving 50 per cent seats for the women in civic polls.

About the youths, Nitish Kumar said they would be entitled to get Rs 1,000 monthly allowance for nine months during their search for jobs.

“Every student, who has passed Class XII, will get a student credit card with the help of which he or she can avail a loan of Rs 4 lakh from any bank,” said the chief minister, adding that free Wi-Fi facility would also be made available in all colleges in the state.

Nitish Kumar, however, refused to call his scheme a manifesto and termed it to be his personal vision document.

“This is my ‘dil ki baat’, unlike the PM’s ‘mann ki baat’. The targets I have set are achievable. Those who know me should rest assured that given an opportunity, I will implement these policies in the next five years,” Kumar said.

RJD, Cong absent

When asked why the RJD and the Congress leaders were conspicuous by their absence during such a major announcement, Nitish replied: “I am leader of the alliance.”

Kumar took a dig at prime minister Modi on August 26 that of the Rs 1.25 lakh crore that he announced as a package at Ara on August 18, only Rs 10,000 crore were of incremental change and the rest included repackaging of the ongoing/approved projects.

On Friday, when Nitish was asked about his package plan (from where will he arrange such huge quantum of money), he said the state would do so largely through its own revenue generation over the next five years.

(Published 28 August 2015, 19:25 IST)

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