Bihar Assembly elections have turned the national spotlight. None other than Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has released the party’s manifesto. The very first promise in the manifesto featured was the ‘Free Covid-19 Vaccine To All’ in the state. However, it added that the administration of free Covid-19 vaccine will only begin after it is approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“As soon as COVID-19 vaccine is available for production on a mass scale, every person in Bihar will get free vaccination. This is the first promise mentioned in our poll manifesto,” Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press conference.
However, Nirmala Sitharaman hasn’t confirmed whether the free Covid-19 vaccine is for the whole country or only limited to Bihar where elections are going to take place. She hasn’t taken questions from the media on this issue.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister has promised creation of 19 lakh jobs in Bihar in the next five years. She said this includes 3 lakh jobs in the education sector (schools and higher education) and 1 lakh jobs in the health sector. It can be noted that RJD’s Tejaswi Yadav had promised 10 lakh jobs as a poll promise.
BJP’s election manifesto also promised that the government would construct 30 lakh pucca houses for the poor in the state. The manifesto also said investments of Information Technology companies in Bihar would be given significance. It also said 13 food processing parks would be established in the state.
Interestingly, Nirmala Sitharaman said higher technical education courses like engineering would be made available in Hindi medium in the state under the New Education Policy (NEP). For farmers, the BJP announced to bring the pulses under the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Overall, BJP’s spree of promises to Bihar is raising flak from the rest of the states which are seeking support from the Centre in the wake of the severe pandemic.