Bihar is one of the epicenters of Indian politics. You cannot take away caste politics from Bihar Elections. But this time around, the promises made are not caste or community-based. Political parties are talking about development, employment, and health. If you change the fabric of political discourse in Bihar, you are making a fresh start.
Opposition parties are quite irked by the Bhartiya Janta Party's announcement to provide free vaccine to all the citizens if they are voted back to power after the Bihar assembly election 2020. Releasing BJP's manifesto, which the party these days call 'Sankalp Patra', finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that as soon as ICMR approved vaccines are available in India, it will be provided free to the people of Bihar.
She said that BJP had promised 19 lakh jobs and free coronavirus vaccination for all in its manifesto. The BJP's 'Sankalp Patra' is the first to include a COVID-19 vaccine, which is still under a trial period.
Launching the manifesto, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: "As soon as the COVID-19 vaccine is available for mass production, every person from Bihar will get free immunization. This is the first promise mentioned in our manifesto."
She further said, "Bihar has seen a sharp increase in NDA governance in GDP; it has increased from 3% to 11.3% in the state in the last 15 years of the NDA government and not during the 15-year Jungle Raj. Because our government made good governance a priority for the people."
"It was made possible because our government gave priority to good governance for people. Only 34 percent eligible got a pucca house in Lalu Yadav's 15 years tenure. But in the last 15 years, 96 percent of eligible people got the pucca house," she said.
Nitish Kumar will be the Chief Minister of Bihar for the next five years. Under his rule, Bihar will become a progressive and developed state of India," she said.
Sitharaman appealed to all the people of the state to vote for the NDA and ensure its victory.
Earlier, the main opposition grand alliance leader Tejashwi Yadav had promised to provide 1 MN jobs to the youth of Bihar. Citing data on vacant posts in government departments, Tejaswi Yadav said that if RJD wins the Bihar assembly election 2020, it will offer government jobs to 1 million youths. He said, "If people give RJD party a chance, then all these vacant posts will be filled." He said that this was not merely an election promise. He claimed that he feels for Bihari youth.
Political analyst Amitabh Tiwari feels that BJP's manifesto in Bihar highlights that the party's focus on the polls will be development and only development. Providing 19 lakh jobs and making Bihar an IT hub shows the party's vision of bringing industrialization in the landlocked state.
"Free vaccine for all promise will go a long way in changing the politics of the state and shows BJP's attempt at ending caste and class politics in the state," Tiwari said.