Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi on Wednesday admitted that job scarcity was a major issue in the poll-bound state and held the 15-year Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) rule between 1990 and 2005 responsible for the same.
Jobs have become a major issue in the state ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled later this year with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar claiming that about 10 lakh youth have been provided employment under the MGNREGA scheme, including 2.9 lakh people who returned to the state during the pandemic.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi has repeatedly claimed that around six lakh recruitments have been made during the 13-year NDA rule, in reply to RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav’s claim that 4.5 lakh posts were lying vacant in different state government departments.
Talking exclusively to IANS, Manjhi said that there were no jobs in the state when Bihar was ruled by Lalu Prasad and later his wife Rabri Devi, but now industries have started to come up ever since Nitish Kumar took over as the Chief Minister of Bihar.
“I want to ask them (RJD leaders) to give details of how many industries were established during their tenure. If at all industries were set up, they invested paltry amounts. If there was a proposal of Rs 100 crore, investment worth only Rs 10 crore was made. The RJD didn’t create any infrastructure like road connectivity in rural areas, markets etc. There was complete lawlessness during the RJD regime,” Manjhi said.
“Industrialists didn’t want to come to Bihar during RJD’s tenure, and many even migrated from Bihar during that period due the prevailing ‘Jungle Raj’. Many people left Bihar for other states in search of jobs then. The RJD doesn’t have any right to blame others. But the situation is improving now,” Manjhi said.
“I have no problem with any of the alliance partners in the NDA. The inclusion of my party in NDA happened with the reference of Nitish Kumar and our coordination with the JDU and the BJP is smooth,” he said.
On seat sharing for the Assembly polls, Manjhi said: “We are waiting for the settlement of seats between the JDU and the BJP first before putting forward our demand. I am expecting that the settlement would take place within a day or two.”