Will Nitish Continue On The Path Of Reforms?
Haider Ali Khan The Mahagathbandhan of JD(U) and RJD recently trounced the BJP-led NDA in Bihar to claim a landslide two-thirds majority in the Bihar Assembly giving JDU chief, Nitish Kumar a third term.
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"Our top priority was, is and will be development with justice. We will continue to work towards inclusive growth and implement our seven-point common programme (with his poll allies) in a time-bound manner. Those are my promises and will be implemented,” said Nitish Kumar moments after his poll success. Making it clear that his reform agenda will continue to be on track.
Kumar will take oath as the 22nd Chief Minister on 20 November at the symbolic Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
The pro-development face of Nitish Kumar was at stake after he has allied with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, a leader with an image battered by multiple cases of corruption.
More than anything else, this election was a litmus test of the Modi-wave, which seems to be absent in Bihar, as, the duo of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah had failed miserably to read the voter’s mind.
In 243 member assembly, the Mahagathbandhan won 178 seats in which RJD got 80 while JD (U) managed 71 and Congress bagged 24.
Now, the biggest challenge for the Nitish Kumar will be to provide clean and efficient government.
“We would like to see industries such as food processing, FMCG, IT and manufacturing units coming to Bihar. And the past ten years of Nitish’s government has been a catalyst of change in Bihar. With experience, we would also like to see some new faces to get inducted in the new government,” said SP Sinha, chairman, CII-Bihar.
During the campaigning, the Nitish-Lalu combine brought out a seven-point common minimum programme suitable for all in which they had promised basic amenities like piped water to every household, 24/7 electricity, toilet in every home, unemployment allowance of Rs 1000 per month for two years, up to 35 per cent reservation for women in government jobs, better roads etc.
"The priority for the new government will progress with justice and inclusive growth," the future chief minister of Bihar added.
Bihar’s economic growth has been seen a big surge under Kumar’s tenure of 10 years from 2005-2015. A growth that was largely attributed to improved law and order situation. In 2103 ASSOCHAM study showed that public investment as an important growth stimulus to growth in Bihar. It had done impressively on other fronts as well, such as job creation and infrastructure building.
“The government is likely to promote its social development programme apart from setting up Wi-Fi in government colleges, providing student credit card for loan up to 4 lakh and opening industrial development training centres etc,” said PK Sinha, a Bihar-based entrepreneur and CEO of Astric Solutions.