Bihar Elections: Is BJP Manifesto a genuine promise or another political ‘jumla’?

As BJP promises free coronavirus vaccine to everyone in Bihar, opposition parties call it a bluff and a breach of trust with other states

The Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto (Sankalp Patra) for Bihar elections. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister released the party’s manifesto promising that they (BJP) will provide citizens of the state free coronavirus vaccine approved by ICMR and around 19 lakh jobs for youths of the state. The Bihar election just around the corner is set to begin on October 28 with its first phase voting.

She went on to say that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bihar has seen a sharp rise under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule, and added that it has grown from 3 percent to 11.3 percent in the state in the last 15 years of NDA government.

The opposition slammed the government for politicizing the vaccine and the pandemic. Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor along many other Congress and non-Congress leaders came down heavily on the government for this move. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Aam Aadmi Party appeared “shocked and appalled” at BJP’s announcement.

BJP in its response said that health being a state subject, it is on the states to decide the distribution of vaccines for their people and therefore the Bihar BJP is promising that they will distribute the ICMR approved vaccine for free.

Some other states like Tamil Nadu have also announced the free distribution of scientifically approved vaccines.

The promise of jobs is also to take on the Tejaswi Yadav’s raising the issue of unemployment in Bihar time and again. Whether it is a fruitful promise or another “political jumla” only time will be able to tell that.

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Pragya Mishra

Senior columnist with interest in economy and government policies.

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