Ahead of the Vidhan Sabha elections in the state, Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday launched his party’s Punjab unit at a function in SAS Nagar. The party, however, has not yet taken a decision on contesting the 2017 elections in the state.
Nitish, who visited Anandpur Sahib in connection with 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, addressed a gathering in SAS Nagar. He urged party leaders in the state to appoint volunteers at district and block level, as “we need a strong organisation in Punjab to raise people’s issues effectively”.
The newly appointed state convener of Punjab Pradesh Janata Dal United, Malwinder Singh Teddy, said drug menace is a burning issue in the state. Taking on the Akali-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, he said it had failed to curb drug abuse, address farmers’ concerns and create jobs.
On contesting the Punjab elections, he said: “We will take a decision in coming days, after appointing volunteers at district level.”
‘BJP weakening federal structure’
Later, attacking the BJP-led government at the Centre, Nitish Kumar said the present government had weakened the federal structure by reducing powers of the states. “How can development take place in such a situation?” he questioned.
Nitish said while Narendra Modi-led government talks of smart cities, the Bihar government is making people smarter and generating employment for them. “During the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP promised to provide jobs and bring welfare schemes for farmers, but nothing has been fulfilled. But, in Bihar, whatever we promised, we have fulfilled,” he said.
Targeting the BJP on ‘gau rakhsha’, Nitish alleged the party had made it an issue during the elections, but had done nothing to protect stray cattle. “They just pretend to save them, but on ground nothing has changed,” he said.
Claiming the people of Bihar had voted for development, the JD(U) chief said his government banned liquor in the state as promised, and it had changed lives of people, especially women. “If you go to any village in Bihar, you will find people are happy. After liquor ban, we have decided to make Bihar free of drugs,” he said.