‘Bread on all plates and pens in all hands’: RJD manifesto stresses on quota
Tejashwi said the party’s manifesto was mainly aimed at providing ‘bread on all plates and pens in all hands’. “RJD, if voted to power with its allies, would strive for implementing the remaining part of the Mandal Commission’s recommendations to ensure justice for the deprived sections.”Updated: Apr 09, 2019 00:50 IST
Carrying on its plank of reservation, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in its manifesto promised extending the facility of reservation in private jobs for the deprived sections of society, comprising Dalits, other backward classes (OBCs), extremely backward castes (EBCs) and tribals.
Former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav released the party’s manifesto on Monday, rechristened as Pratibaddhata Patra, for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The polling, to be held in seven phases, will start on April 11.
State RJD chief Ram Chandra Purbe and party’s national spokesperson Manoj Jha were present during the manifesto release. Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav, who had earlier threatened to turn a renegade, was absent.
Tejashwi said the party’s manifesto was mainly aimed at providing ‘bread on all plates and pens in all hands’. “RJD, if voted to power with its allies, would strive for implementing the remaining part of the Mandal Commission’s recommendations to ensure justice for the deprived sections.”
The manifesto also laid emphasis on creating job opportunities for the youth in Bihar so that people did not have to leave the state to look for earning opportunities. “All vacant posts in government departments would be filled up with qualified people on priority basis. Besides, the party would ensure that the new roaster policy gets constitutional validity so that job aspirants Dalit, OBC, EBC and tribal communities are not deprived of jobs due to the flawed policy,” said Tejashwi, adding that a helpline for migrant workers would be set up to provide them instant help.
As per the manifesto, the party would get a caste-based census done in 2021 so as to allocate proportionate quota for the deprived castes.
In an apparent shift in its stand on prohibition, RJD’s manifesto promised to make toddy tax free to woo a section of the EBC community. Lakhs of people across the state have been engaged in toddy tapping for years. However, toddy tapping has been severely hit after the state government enforced total prohibition since April 5, 2016. Thousands of people belonging to the toddy tapping community were sent to the jail for violation of the amended prohibition act.
RJD is contesting the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar along with its allies Congress, RLSP, HAM(S) and VIP. It has fielded its candidates in 19 out of 40 seats, while the Congress has been allotted nine seats, RLSP five and HAM(S) and VIP are contesting three seats each.
While the Congress refrained from commenting on the RJD’s manifesto, constituents of the ruling NDA rubbished it as an anti-poor, visionless and backward-looking document. Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan wondered as how could a party like RJD think of betterment for poor, when it remained silent on reservation for poor among the upper castes.
JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh said that the RJD wanted to take Bihar back to the jungle raj. “It was shocking to see that a party, which vowed its support for total prohibition, is now talking about attempts to weaken the act that has brought a perceptible behavioural change in rural areas.”