Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may have joined forces with Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad to take on the resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Assembly elections but he is not going to compromise on his development agenda for the state.
This is what Nitish sought to convey, a day after Lalu Prasad ceded ground to accept the JD(U) leader as the grand secular alliance’s chief ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections in Bihar.
Nitish, who has earned praise for ushering in development during his decade-long reign since 2005, has been under attack from the BJP and other opposition parties in the state for stitching an alliance with Lalu despite the dismal record of the RJD on the development front.
But he revealed his plans for the next level of Bihar’s growth with his ambitious campaign, Badh Chala Bihar (Bihar has moved ahead) launched on Tuesday.The campaign aims to involve the people from all sections in society to elicit their views on various growth-centric issues for preparation of an elaborate vision document called Bihar@2025 to ensure all-inclusive development of the Bihar over the next 10 years.
The process to prepare the vision document, billed as the first of its kind, will involve about 4 crore people living in 40,000 villages over the next eight to 10 weeks. Nitish said that the vision document would be prepared on the basis of the people’s feedback and interaction with them. “We will go out and seek the opinion of the people on various issues related to development and incorporate it in the vision document,” he said. “This is going to be the world’s biggest campaign of its kind for public participation.
The chief minister said that the idea of incorporating the people’s viewpoint in the policy-making process first came to his mind when he travelled to the remotest villages as part of his ‘Vishwas Yatra (Trust March)’ way back in 2009. “I used to stay in the villages along with the officials and hear the grievances of the people,” he said. “This made me aware of the various issues concerning the public welfare. The vision document will help the government formulate the policies in keeping with the feedback of the people from different fields.
“This document will have the participation of every section of society. If implemented properly, this will give extraordinary results,” he said.
“The goals of good governance cannot be achieved without everybody’s participation.” Asserting that Bihar has made rapid strides in development in the past 10 years, Nitish said that Bihar had forged ahead on the development front. “But many things are yet to be done,” he added.
“We made remarkable progress in the fields of education, health, energy, infrastructure and road sectors. Bihar’s journey on the path of development has not only begun but has also attained good pace as it has achieved high growth rate year after year.” Nitish said that there was a perception earlier that nothing could be done in Bihar. “The state used to be mocked everywhere. People used to say that casteism is in the DNA of the state,” he said.
“But we followed the development-with-justice policy to take the benefits of the growth to the last man in society. We set a new benchmark of progress.” Nitish, on this occasion, sought to highlight all the major achievements of his government in his two tenures right from the 50 per cent reservation for women in the panchayat elections to framing of laws to confiscate the property of the corrupt public servants. The chief minister’s development agenda came amid the allegations of the BJP leaders that Nitish had joined hands with Lalu to bring back the ‘jungle raj (lawless days)’ in Bihar.
Courtesy: Mail Today