Patna, Sept 29: Political statements and caste equations are part and parcel of every election. However, there are other pressing issues that the residents of Bihar want addressed when they elect a new government in the forthcoming elections.
Several persons in Bihar that OneIndia spoke with say that they feel that the elections this year around would be different. [Bihar Assembly Elections 2015: Full Coverage]
While development is one major concern in Bihar, the other major issue that the people want addressed is the rise in crime against women.
It is not just the rise in crime against women, but the upward trend that Bihar has shown in criminal activities that the new government must urgently address, says Santosh Jha of Patna.
Grim crime statistics:
The statistics available would show that there has been a 42 per cent jump in the number of criminal activities in Bihar between 2010 and 2014.
The BJP during its campaign has spared no opportunity to term the rule in Bihar as Jungle Raj. The fact that 20,000 offences that are cognisable were registered in Bihar only in the year 2014 itself a telling statistic.
The statistics relating to crime against women too has been on the rise. The students in Bihar feel that the new government must take urgent notice of the crime against women.
In 2014, statistics would show that around 1,127 rapes had taken place while during the same year 12,000 various other offences relating to women had been registered across the state.
The women say that the situation in the cities such as Patna have no doubt improved. With Nitish Kumar in power, he has taken some measures to make the streets of Patna safer.
It is no longer what it used to be prior to 2010, the students point out. However, the crimes that have been registered in large numbers are those in the remote areas. Security of women continues to be a far cry in the remote parts of Bihar even today.
Lack of development contributing to crime:
Bihar contributes only 1.5 per cent to the industrial development of the country. This is a bad number and this in turn has led to two direct problems. High rate of migration and unemployment.
In most cases, it has been found that unemployment has been directly linked to crime and the case of Bihar is no different. Bihar alone has seen nearly 55 lakh people migrate out of the state in search of better opportunities.
Some of these people even said that they will not return to their state to vote in the elections as they see no hope of development of employment.
A statistic of the planning commission reveals that Bihar witnessed an agriculture growth of just 4.31 per cent between 2005 and 2014.
While this is one part of the problem there are other issues that concern Bihar such as electricity problems and sanitation issues.
These are issues that do matter a lot to the voter and many say that they want to vote for development and change.
We are fed up of politics on caste equations and whichever party comes to power, we hope that they will work for positive change, the voters in the state point out.