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Mahagathbandhan Govt in Bihar to Make Job Creation its USP?

This will be the second time within the last two and a half months that the state government will be distributing appointment letters to a large number of successful candidates who passed the examination conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission.
Bihar's Ruling Mahagathbandhan Begins Preparations to Defeat BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

 The leaders from Opposition parties during a joint press conference after their meeting, in Patna, on June 23. Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: In a seemingly surprising development, thousands of jobless youths from Bihar and other states have received appointment letters for government jobs, mainly school teachers, in the last few months. Thousands more are likely to get appointment letters next week and in the coming months.

On January 13, 2024, the state government plans to distribute appointment letters to more than one lakh newly recruited school teachers. While 25,000 of these letters will be handed over by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, the remaining teachers will get appointment letters at the district level the same day.

This will be the second time within the last two and a half months that the state government will be distributing appointment letters to such a large number of successful candidates who passed the examination conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC). On November 2, 2023, the state government distributed appointment letters to 1,20,336 newly recruited school teachers.

The Mahagathbandhan government led by Nitish Kumar has stated that it is committed to creating more jobs to fulfil its promises of providing 10 lakh government jobs by 2025. Besides, the state government is working to create jobs in the private sector, mainly in infrastructure construction and others.

Tejashwi Yadav on Friday in a social media post on X said that between November 2023 and January 2024, within three months, Bihar has become the first state in the country that will distribute appointment letters to around 2,25,000 newly recruited school teachers.

Social activist Satyanrayan Madan supported Tejashwi's claim, stating that no state government had ever distributed so many appointment letters in a day or within three months. He cited the example of January 1979 when then Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur distributed jobs to nearly 7,000 junior engineers in a single day. Thakur is widely recognized as a socialist icon and a political mentor to both RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the current JD-U president, Nitish Kumar.

The Mahagathbandhan government's focus on job creation is a strategic response to counter the BJP's Hindutva narrative, which lacks substantial offerings for youths seeking employment.

Besides job creation, the Mahagathbandhan government gave the government employee status to more than 3.5 lakh contractual school teachers in December 2023 – responding to teachers’ years-long demand and agitation.

Tejashwi has repeatedly targeted the BJP for the failure of the Modi government at the Centre to fulfil its promise of jobs. " Some people have been distributing swords among youths while we are distributing jobs among the youths in Bihar," Tejashwi said. He also accused the central government of using agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, and the Income Tax Department to target the opposition parties.

According to RJD leaders close to Tejashwi, the government has decided to fill posts that have been vacant in different government departments for a long time. "The government has launched a regular recruitment drive in police, public health, education, rural development, and all other departments for creating scope for government jobs,” claimed a leader.

Rozgar or employment was one of the most significant poll planks during the last Bihar Assembly polls. The Grand Alliance’s campaign with a focus on jobs and unemployment in the state had resonated with voters.

However, in its manifesto released in response to the RJD, the then-ruling BJP (in 2020), which was an ally of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), had promised to provide 19 lakh jobs in the next five years. It is a different matter that after Kumar joined hands with the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan in August 2022, Kumar gave up silence and announced job creation plans. Last year, on the occasion of Independence Day, Kumar, in his official address, said the Mahagathbandhan government in the state will attain its target of providing 20 lakh jobs to youths. Kumar then recalled that in August 2022, we had announced 10 lakh government jobs to the youths and an additional 10 lakh employment opportunities in various sectors.

With Kumar set to become the convenor of the opposition alliance INDIA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the success of job creation in Bihar by the state government led by him is likely to be an issue to counter the “failure of BJP and Modi” during the campaign.

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