In the run-up to the Bihar assembly elections, in his first-ever virtual rally on Monday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the leaders of opposition were making false statements to mislead people without knowing the ground realities.
During his address, Kumar presented a report card of the last 15 years, in which he touched upon law and order, the economy, creation of road infrastructure and flood relief measures undertaken during the time he has been serving as CM. Kumar compared it with the Lalu-Rabri regime of 1990-2005.
Replying to Tejashwi’s allegations about lawlessness in Bihar, Kumar said: “When they were in power, people could not step outside from their homes after 6 pm. There were no arrests, no trial of criminals. With the blessings of the government, criminals used to wave rifles from their vehicles. Now, a majority of criminals have been put behind the bars. They’ve undergone speedy trials. We have carried out special drives to nab absconding criminals. Now, the situation has improved with people stepping out with their familiies in the evening without any fear.”
Referring to 2018 NCRB data, Kumar said with a crime rate at an average of 222.1 per lakh population, Bihar ranked 23rd in the country in incidents of crime. The national average is above 300 per lakh population. In Bihar, 60 per cent of was crime was happening owing to land disputes between family members. Besides, in crimes against women, Bihar’s ranking is 29th in the country, 33rd in rapes, 23rd in kidnapping and 11th in murders.
“Naxalism in Bihar was at its peak during the Lalu-Rabri regime. When our government came into power, we identified 65 village panchayats and carried out a special drive to give them technical training. The situation has improved now with no such incident of Naxalite violence taking place in Bihar. Have they any answer to this?” asked Kumar.
Kumar said the maintenance of roads was at its worst during the Lalu-Rabri regime. “Now 96,500-km roads have bee constructed. Moreover, construction of 18600-km roads is underway. The state government has made the concessionaire accountable to maintain roads after they are constructed with zero-tolerance.”
During his 1.15-hour speech Kumar also spoke about the Coronavirus crisis in the state. He said that the Bihar government has initiated a mass campaign against the pandemic to facilitate affected people either coming from other states or residing permanently in Bihar. Due to this, the recovery rate of Bihar reached the top position in the country. “The total testing has reached 1.5 lakh per day including through rapid antigen test and RTPCR. Beside, if anyone unfortunately dies due to Covid, we compensate them with Rs 4 lakh cash. Moreover, if Covid warriors like doctors, medical staff or any other person die while serving Covid patients on duty, their families will get benefited with jobs. In case any relative is unable to accept a job, we will give them the total salary of the deceased till retirement under the pension scheme,” Kumar said.
Reacting to allegations by opposition parties on non-creation of jobs in the state, Kumar said that more than 10 lakh people had been given jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi Rastriya Rojgaar Guarantee Yojna and other schemes including to 2.9 lakh migrants who returned home owing to Covid-19. Besides, 164153 people are registered in the employment exchange. The country is undergoing an economic crisis, still Bihar has done better, added the CM.
“Besides Covid-19, Bihar also suffered due to devastating floods. We have given help to 83 lakh flood-affected families in 16 districts. We have not missed any single family during the floods. The flood in Bihar happens every year and that is not the state’s mistake. Waters comes from Nepal, UP and MP. Since, the land of Bihar falls under low-lying areas, water accumulates here during the monsoon session. But opposition parties leaders do not know this. They are young (Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav) and have no knowledge of ground realities. Hence, they are propagating falsehoods in the public without any basis,” Kumar said.
During the rally, senior leaders of JDU like Sanjay Jha, Lallan Singh accompanied him.