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bihar election 2020
Home / Bihar Election / Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar vows ‘progress with justice’ in first rally

Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar vows ‘progress with justice’ in first rally

Kumar used the opportunity to urge everyone to exercise in the election caution, noting that the three-phase exercise, spread over October 28, November 3 and November 7, was being held at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has not been contained fully.

bihar-election Updated: Oct 13, 2020, 05:44 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar addresses a virtual election meeting for upcoming Bihar assembly election in Patna. ( Photo by Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar addresses a virtual election meeting for upcoming Bihar assembly election in Patna. ( Photo by Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar kicked off the virtual election campaign of his Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), on Monday, pledging “development with justice” if the coalition government of his party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is voted back to power in the polls.

In the interaction with voters and party workers in six districts, where elections are scheduled in the first phase of polling on October 28, Kumar said he was determined to work for the development of all, sans regional or geographical biases, to provide a sustainable foundation for 10% annual economic growth in the coming years.

“At constant prices, the {state} gross domestic product was Rs 28,000 crore in 2006-07 when the JD (U)-led NDA {National Democratic Alliance} came to power. But despite a 20% population growth rate, the government has been able to maintain a double-digit growth rate. We wanted big-ticket investments, but the landlocked status of the state has acted as a roadblock. But we are in the midst of efforts to create employment opportunities through small industries and cluster development,” he said.

Also read: PM Modi, Nitish Kumar changed political course in Bihar: BJP chief JP Nadda at election rally in Gaya

Mourning the death of BJP minister and Pranpur MLA Vinod Singh, the chief minister termed it a personal loss for him. Singh was undergoing treatment following brain haemorrhage for over a month at Medanta Hospital in Delhi and his condition began deteriorating.

Kumar used the opportunity to urge everyone to exercise in the election caution, noting that the three-phase exercise, spread over October 28, November 3 and November 7, was being held at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has not been contained fully.

“In Bihar, the rate of spread has slowed. But no one can predict when the trend starts to reverse. It is imperative to follow the regulations,” he said.

Kumar said the government had taken steps to tackle the pandemic and floods in parts of the state. “Before us, there was no institutional mechanism for victims of natural disaster. People did not get relief, even after the floods were over. Today things are streamlined with proper SOPs {standard operating procedures} and guidelines as we believe that victims of natural disasters have the first right on the state exchequer,” he said.

Also read | 52,000 voters opt for postal ballot in Phase 1 of Bihar polls: Election Commission

The chief minister also listed his government’s initiatives to promote the education of girls and women’s empowerment. “I am a supporter of 35% quota for women in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Government has provided 35% quota for women in jobs and JD (U) has given tickets to women candidates in the state assembly elections,” he said.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to the rule of law, Kumar said “crime, corruption and communalism will not be tolerated at any cost.”

The chief minister will address two virtual rallies on Tuesday and is scheduled to start on-ground campaigning from Wednesday with a special focus on constituencies where the Lok Janshakti Party has decided to put up its candidates against JD (U) nominees after pulling out of the NDA.

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