The Mahagathbandhan’s Chief Ministerial face Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s claims to provide 10 lakh government jobs have naturally been a big draw in his campaign.
This has been the surprise pack, the X-factor that has unfolded the outcome in the recently concluded Bihar Polls.
Tejashwi Yadav’s poll promise did find the expected wide spread acceptance among voters as hundreds of thousands of migrant workers went jobless since the nationwide lockdown began in March 2020.
His election rallies were jam-packed for several weeks. Observers said that the crowds majorly consisted of migrant labourers, who felt severely let down by the incumbent Nitish Kumar government.
Thus, the matter – whether the said poll promise is silly or not – has became a hot topic for a debate.
Arguments against the motion
Initially the BJP ignored crowds at Tejashwi Yadav’s rallies. The CM Nitish Kumar ridiculed Tejashwi for his poll promise of providing 10 lakh government jobs in his first cabinet meeting, if voted to power. He said: “Where Tejashwi will bring the funds from? From the skies or jail? Or the employees will be paid their salaries in fake notes?”
The BJP Chief J P Nadda said that NDA vowed to provide development in such a way that people of Bihar would not do jobs but offer jobs to others.
Party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain stated the crowds are there because those are RJD strongholds, but results have no connection to the turnout at rallies.
But later, Bihar’s ruling alliance too decided to counter attack Tejashwi Yadav.
GA’s manifesto speaks of providing 1 million jobs, while NDA’s manifesto speaks of 1.9 million jobs!
To support its stand, the NDA produced some budget calculations and raised questions on how Tejashwi Yadav, the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance, plans to materialize and fund it.
Bihar’s ruling alliance, represented by Sushil Modi, stated that the salaries of the current government employees presently stood at ₹ 5,27,340 million.
If an additional 1 million employees are inducted, the amount will shoot up to ₹ 1.11 trillion.
Modi pointed out that the current budget of Bihar amounts to ₹ 2.11761 trillion only. He questioned: “If Tejashwi Yadav spends ₹ 1.11 trillion on salary alone, how will he meet the other government expenses: pension, students’ scholarship, cycle, uniforms, mid-day meal, farmers’ subsidy, infrastructure and electricity. Besides, there should also be some room for repayment of loans and interest.”
Arguments for the Motion.
– Bihar’s annual budget is of ₹ 2.5 trillion out of which the Nitish government spends only 60 per cent. The remaining amount of about ₹ 800,000 million can be used by a more competent government for the welfare of the people.
– The Chief Minister Nitish Kumar raises doubts on our promise of providing 1 million jobs, so how can his future government (if ever formed) fulfill their declaration of 1.9 million jobs?
Tejashwi’s vision and thought process while making this promise are:
Bihar faces a huge crisis of unemployment.
Bihar’s population is nearly 125 million. He highlights the WHO standard: one doctor per thousand people.
Bihar requires 0.125 million doctors apart from support staff. The Health Department will then need another 0.25 million staff.
In case of the police force, 50 thousand posts are lying vacant. This is when the police-public ratio is at its minimum in Bihar. It is just 770 policemen per million of population. In Manipur, a much smaller state, the said ratio is 10000 policemen per million of population.
Nearly 3 million people have already registered on the RJD’s “unemployment portals”.
The points which Tejashwi has raised do carry some weight. One simple reasoning is: ‘Even if you have to give away ₹ 1.11 trillion as salaries to 1 million people, then can you not generate ₹ 11.1 trillion of revenue?’
Socialism and capitalism must co-exist. The reasoning – since ₹ 1.11 trillion will be needed to spend – is certainly not acceptable. It sends out two distinct signals:
- That the government admin is neither pro-active nor aggressive
- The admin wants its men and material resources to stay idle
For welfare point of view, the people must be looked after. But money begets money. Unless you invest money, how can you expect to raise money? Whosoever will get money as salary, he or she will surely yield some value-added productive output. All you need is dynamic and visionary leadership along with a strong political will. This is precisely the vision which Tejashwi Yadav has nursed all along, something which his rivals did not apparently ever possess.
The magic of 10 lakh government jobs poll promise is now clearly visible. A young, charismatic leader has just been unearthed. However, he may not serve Bihar as its Chief Minister for full 5 years. Tejashwi Yadav may well be called upon to become India’s PM in 2024!
Also Read: Bihar Poll Results Set Precedent