The Bihar government has failed to implement centrally-funded welfare and development schemes for the poor, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday while again launching a scathing attack on chief minister Nitish Kumar.
"The benefits of centrally-funded welfare and development schemes meant for poor people have not reached them because of the Bihar government," Gandhi said at an election rally in the Barbigha assembly constituency in Sheikhpura district.
The central government had provided crores of rupees but the state government had not utilised the funds. This was evident in the rural areas, he said, claiming that the central government had provided the highest funds to Bihar under the Indira Awas Yojna.
"The poorest of the poor have to pay bribe to officials to get the benefit of this housing scheme. Those who have no money to pay bribes don't get the benefit," the Congress general secretary said.
He also cited other welfare schemes like the MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).
Terming Nitish Kumar's claims of development "false propaganda", Gandhi said Bihar was "not shining".
"Your chief minister is propagating that Bihar is shining and developing at a fast rate. But the reality is different," he said, adding that Biharis were shining outside the state.
"Millions of people living in the state are struggling for livelihood. The people of Bihar are still living without facilities like electricity, drinking water, health and good education," he said.
If Bihar had indeed seen development, why were Biharis still migrating to other states in search of jobs. And why were people not coming to Bihar for jobs, he asked.
The Congress leader also appealed to the youth to join politics.
"The youth can bring change. Youngsters can bring change in Bihar. So you have to join politics and change Bihar and talk about progress, talk about education," he said.