Congress lists four issues ahead of PM Modi’s rally in Bihar's Jamui : The Tribune India

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Congress lists four issues ahead of PM Modi’s rally in Bihar's Jamui

Questions PM over his stance on Bihar Government's caste survey

Congress lists four issues ahead of PM Modi’s rally in Bihar's Jamui

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI file



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4

Listing four issues, the Congress on Thursday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up these during his visit to Bihar today.

Modi is scheduled to address a rally at Jamui today.

“The Prime Minister is in Jamui, Bihar today. It is unlikely to ever figure in his propaganda-laden speeches, but these are the issues that the people of Bihar want to hear from him about”, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh wrote on X.

Ramesh said Bihar was the first state to abolish the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act in 2006. APMCs ensure farmers get MSP for their produce. Removing them has spelled disaster for farmers in Bihar, 97 per cent of whom have small or marginal landholdings. Despite the failure of this policy decision, the Modi government first attempted to scrap APMCs nationwide through the three black farm laws, and now continues to deny farmers guaranteed MSPs.

“Can the Prime Minister express what benefits farmers in Bihar have seen from the abolition of its APMCs, and why he was trying to recreate this model nationally?”, Ramesh asked.

Ramesh said Bihar has the dubious distinction of having India’s highest rates of unemployment and out-migration. A full 32 per cent of Bihar’s youth are not in education, employment, or training. More than 50 per cent of Bihari households have a family member migrating out of the state for work. The Congress Party has committed to filling 30 lakh government vacancies under its Bharti Bharosa Guarantee, along with a right to apprenticeships, Ramesh said and asked “What is the BJP’s vision to help rescue Bihar’s youth from hopelessness and unemployment?”

Noting that Bihar faces high levels of youth unemployment and rural distress, Ramesh said  MGNREGA is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of families. The “crucial scheme” falters whenever the BJP is in power in Bihar, Ramesh said.

The approved labour budget for 2023-24 was 225 million person days, 25 million person days less than the year before, and the average days of employment provided per household fell from 47.16 to 43.85. Across Bihar, only 0.4 per cent of the 5.35 million families who demanded work were able to avail the 100 days of employment guaranteed by the scheme. Last December, almost 800 people in Bihar’s Vaishali district, mostly women, participated in a strike to protest alleged fraud within the scheme in Bihar. The Modi Sarkar is legally bound to guarantee 100 days of work and timely payment to MGNREGA beneficiaries. “Are these states of affairs an indication of what ‘Modi ki Guarantee’ really looks like”? Ramesh asked.

Ramesh wrote Nitish Kumar’s government, on the insistence of the Congress and RJD, released Bihar’s Caste Census data in October last year. PM Modi then accused Kumar of “dividing the country in the name of caste”.

“Having since joined hands with him, what does the PM think of the caste census conducted by his old new ally?” Ramesh asked.

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