Within 24 hours of senior BJP leader and Bihar deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi mocking Tejashwi Yadav’s poll promise of providing 10 lakh government jobs in the poll-bound state, BJP in its own manifesto has promised to provide 19 lakh jobs. With less than a week to go for the first round of polls, BJP in its manifesto, which it calls ‘Sankalp Patra’, has promised to provide almost double the number of jobs to the people of Bihar. The party has also promised to provide free of cost vaccine shots of coronavirus as soon as it is reaches the government and gets the necessary approval.
The BJP has promised three lakh jobs to teachers within the first year, five lakh jobs in the IT sector for which it has promised to build a ‘next generation IT hub’. The party has also promised one lakh jobs in the medical sector and 10 lakh jobs in the agriculture sector. Thirty lakh pucca houses by 2022 and making one crore women financially independent by extending Rs 50,000 crore in micro finance institutions, are some of the other major poll promises made by the BJP.
On Wednesday, Sushil Modi had expressed disbelief with Tejashwi Yadav’s 10 lakh government job promise, a poll sop that has been getting a lot of traction in the state. In a media statement, Modi said the salaries and payments of the current government employees amount to ₹ 52,734 crore and adding another 10 lakh employees will push the amount up to ₹ 1.11 lakh crore.
“If the opposition spends this much on salary, how will they meet the expenses on pension, students’ scholarship, cycle, uniforms, mid-day meal, farmers’ subsidy, infrastructure and electricity?” he questioned. The current state budget, he pointed out, amounts only to 2,11,761 crore. It would not leave room for repayment of loans or even interest, he said.
Not just Sushil Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also lashed out at Tejashwi over the job promise. “Where will you get the money to pay the salaries? From the same scam for which you are in jail? Or will you print fake money?” Nitish had asked in a recent poll rally in Gopalgunj.
Tejashwi had in a rally on Tuesday responded to the barbs aimed at him by top NDA leaders. “It is very amusing to know that the Chief Minister does not know it after running the government for 15 years. He is making himself a laughingstock. So much of this is planned expenditure,” he said, pointing to the vacant posts in various spheres including teaching.
And what about the money lost in scams, he questioned. “Over the last years, Bihar was robbed of ₹30,000 crore in 60 scams. It was money from the budget. It was the people’s money,” he said. “He (Nitish Kumar) has spent ₹ 500 crore in brushing up his image, in advertisements. All of this is in planned budget,” he said.