A ‘city’ like Kota in Rajasthan to coach students for various competitive exams, a grand Sita temple that will put the state on the world map, and free rides in government buses for women are among the promises made by Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Chirag Paswan for the Bihar Assembly elections to be held from October 28.
According to the party’s manifesto, the ‘coaching city’, to be developed on the lines of Kota in Rajasthan, Mukherjee Nagar in Delhi and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, will provide accommodation and library facilities. Seats will be set aside for students from economically weaker sections of society. The ‘city’ will provide an alternative to students who are now forced to leave the state in search of good coaching classes, the manifesto said.
It said a Sita temple will be built in Sitamarhi district, like the Ayodhya Ram Temple, which will help attract tourists from all over the world and promote religious tourism in Bihar.
The LJP has said that if it is voted to power, women will be allowed to travel free in government buses and that it will build separate toilets for women in all block and gram panchayat headquarters and markets.
It also proposes to fill all government-approved posts in all the departments and to set up an online portal to help employers connect with those looking for jobs.
The LJP says it will undertake a project to build canals that will connect with rivers to prevent floods and drought.
“I put forward our vision of ‘Bihar first, Bihari first’ with the release of our party’s manifesto for the Bihar assembly polls,” Paswan said on Wednesday. “It will help resolve various problems that people in Bihar have been facing,” he said in Patna.
The BJP and the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) are contesting together as NDA alliance partners in the Assembly elections. The LJP, which is a part of the alliance at the Centre, is contesting on its own. Paswan has said that his main rival is the JD(U) and not the BJP. The LJP has fielded candidates in most of the seats allocated to the JD(U) as part of its seat-sharing agreement with the BJP.
The elections in the state will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be declared on November 10.
Chirag Paswan is contesting the Bihar election separately from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) this time, mainly to fight Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal United. He has repeatedly asserted that while his fight is against Nitish Kumar, he is devoted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hopes to form a government in Bihar with the BJP after the polls.
The BJP’s national leadership has been softer towards Chirag Paswan and has not thrown him out of the NDA despite his public criticism of Nitish Kumar, which has raised speculation that the BJP considers him a counterweight to keep the Bihar Chief Minister in check.