What did Lalu Yadav do except make wife chief minister: Nitish Kumar
Patna, Oct 17: Taking a swipe at Lalu Prasad Yadav, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday asked what did the government do for the upliftment of women during 15 years of RJD rule in the state except for anointing Lalu Yadav's wife Rabri Devi on the chief ministerial chair.
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 politics 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 Aurangabad and Rohtas districts.
Though he did not take any names, the message seems directed at RJD's Tejashwi Yadav and LJP chief Chirag Paswan who have launched an all-out attack on Nitish Kumar.
After launching campaign for the upcoming Bihar polls Monday with a virtual rally, Nitish 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 Yadav, he reeled out comparative data to tell people about the situation prevailing in the state before the NDA, under him, took over the reins in 2005.
Talking about the condition of women during the two regimes, Nitish Kumar said, "While the leader at that time installed his wife on the chair (of the chief minister), did he do anything for the welfare of women?"
RJD president Lalu Prasad, who became the 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.
Her chief ministerial tenure even exceeds that of Lalu Prasad's seven-year-tenure.
Nitish Kumar, as leader of the NDA, had thrown the RJD out of power in November 2005 and since then is at the helm of the state affairs.
Like in the past, Nitish Kumar, who has been declared the NDA face in the polls, kept his focus on the RJD which is spearheading the Grand Alliance and continued to attack his main political rival Lalu Prasad.
Nitish Kumar is keeping his campaign narrative around "15 years vs 15 years", appealing voters to compare the performance of the NDA and the RJD regimes that spent an equal amount of time ruling the state.
Highlighting the work done for women during the 15 years under him, Nitish 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 jobs for women in police force and other state government services.
"Does any state have more number of women in the police force than Bihar?" he asked the crowd.
Nitish Kumar also referred to the launch of JEEVIKA progrmme for women by providing easy finance to women's self help groups (SHGs) 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 as assistance to girls clearing plus two exam and Rs 25,000 to those completing graduation and said this will be increased to Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively if his government returns to power.
Kumar highlighted the 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 23rd 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."
Kumar also praised the central government for assisting in the development of Bihar and caring for its people.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is providing foodgrains to the poor for free from March to November in the wake of coronovirus pandemic and has also given ₹ 6,000 as assistance to farmers during the present crisis period," he said.