The opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Sunday promised to provide 10 lakh permanent government jobs if the Grand Alliance is voted to power in the assembly election in Bihar.
Leader of the opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav who has made unemployment in the state an election issue to accuse the Nitish Kumar government of ignoring youths and promoting migration, maintained that the commitment of the RJD to address the joblessness issue was not a poll promise but a strong will.
“If our government is formed, we will approve around 10 lakh jobs in the first cabinet. These jobs would be government employment and permanent. There will be advertisements and in a time frame, appointments would be made,” Tejashwi said at a press conference, the first after the three-phase election in the state was announced.
The opposition leader said the state’s unemployment rate was around 46.6%, one of the highest in the country with poverty and migration being the by-product of the joblessness among youths. He said the party’s newly launched portal to invite applications from unemployed youths had received 22.58 lakh registrations.
The RJD leader also accused the state government of not providing job avenues and filling up existing vacancies. Tejashwi claimed that there were around 4.50 lakh vacancies while 5.50 lakh more appointments were required in police, health and other departments.
He attacked the government over health infrastructure and said that according to the WHO standards there should be one doctor for 1,000 population whereas in Bihar it was one doctor for a population of 17,000.
“That way, we need 1.25 lakh new doctors. Besides, an adequate number of lab technicians, nurses and pharmacists adding to the number of people required is 2.5 lakh in the health department alone,” he said.
Tejashwi also said the number of policemen in the state was inadequate with around 50,000 vacancies. He also said that there was a requirement of three lakh teachers for schools and colleges. “ There is also a need for engineers, clerks and secretariat staff. Our objective is to address the unemployment issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister-cum-finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi made an oblique attack on Tejashwi for promising 10 lakh jobs.
“Those talking of providing jobs in the first cabinet should first issue a white paper on their 15-year-old misrule and how 118 massacres, B.Ed scam and other scams took place. During the RJD rule, there were 5 lakh vacancies. Had those been filled by the then government, 1.35 lakh people from backward classes would have got jobs,” he said.
Modi also obliquely took potshots at jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad on the latter’s various corruption charges, stating that “the heir apparent of one who gives jobs in lieu of land is talking of providing 10 lakh jobs. Who will believe him?” he said.