Bihar Assembly election: Will nullify Centre’s farm laws, if voted to power, says RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav
Confident of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ getting two-thirds majority in the Bihar polls, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday said providing jobs to unemployed youth would be top priority for him and his government will also bring a legislation in the first assembly session to nullify the “anti-farmer” laws brought by the Centre.
Yadav, who is the Mahagathbandhan’s chief ministerial face, said he is running an issue-based campaign in the assembly polls which was resonating with the masses and come November 10, the day of the counting of votes, “Bihar will witness a new dawn”.
In an interview with PTI, Yadav said for the first time in history a promise has been made to the youth of Bihar that 10 lakh jobs will be provided with the “first stroke of the pen in the very first cabinet meeting”, if voted to power.
Asked how many seats he is expecting to win, the former Bihar deputy chief minister said, “I am no astrologer but the public reception during canvassing gives me confidence that we have the blessings of the great people of Bihar and they have decided to entrust us with a huge responsibility.”
Yadav expressed confidence that the Mahagathbandhan will get a “thumping two-thirds majority”.
“I can confidently tell you that deposits will be forfeited of NDA candidates in maximum constituencies. Come 10th November, Bihar will witness a new dawn,” he asserted.
Talking about his major promises and poll plank, he said that if voted to power, providing jobs to unemployed youth would be his topmost priority.
“Ours would be a responsible government which will have a responsive administration. Employment, health, education and industries are the sectors which have been neglected in 15 years of (Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar’s rule. We will revive and transform these sectors,” the 30-year-old leader said.
Asked about Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan walking out of the NDA and whether there was a possibility of a post poll tie-up with him, Yadav said Paswan has already made it clear that he is with the BJP and wishes to replace Nitish Kumar with a BJP CM.
On the third front formed by the likes of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, he said Biharis have the highest political awareness in the country and “these A, B, C parachute alliances of the BJP will have no impact on this election”.
Asked whether the grand alliance, if voted to power, will blunt the farm laws the Centre has brought in with a state level legislation like in Punjab, Yadav said, “Yes, absolutely we will bring in a legislation in the first assembly session that shall nullify these three anti-farmer bills. This is a commitment in our Mahagathbandhan manifesto.”
The three farm bills -- the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 -- were passed by Parliament recently. Subsequently, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bills.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress, many other opposition parties as well as several farmers organisations have been protesting against these legislations, claiming that these will harm the interests of farmers and benefit corporates, a claim denied by the government.
The Centre has asserted that these new laws will be beneficial for farmers and will increase their income. Yadav said there is a “huge resentment” among people against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar primarily because of his “desire for power and discriminatory attitude towards the unemployed, migrants and the poor during Covid pandemic”.
“With his PR of about thousands of crores he had so far managed to create a facade of ‘Sushasan’ which we have pulled down with facts and figures. Now, the people of Bihar have come to know that Nitish Kumar has ruined the state,” Yadav alleged.
The RJD leader said he is going to people with a vision for their problems and is raising real life issues in his campaign. Asked about talk that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign blitz may work in favour of the NDA, Yadav said twelve and a half crore Biharis have decided and made up their mind to vote on real life issues like unemployment, migration, corruption, poverty, inflation etc.
In the three phase election -- October 28, November 3 and November 7 -- RJD is leading the Mahagathbandhan, contesting 144 seats, followed by the Congress which is fighting on 70 seats, CPI(ML) 19 seats, CPI (six) and CPI(M) four seats. Bihar has a 243-member Assembly. The RJD had won 81 seats in 2015 while the Congress bagged 27.