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From economy to infra to crime, BJP finds a Nitish Kumar slump after split

The paper cites state government data to show a drop in infrastructure projects, including bridges and roads.

Written by Sheela Bhatt | New Delhi |
September 14, 2015 1:23:16 am
Nithsh Kumar and Narendra Modi Nithsh Kumar and Narendra Modi

The BJP has come out with a study paper to show how, without its support, Nitish Kumar’s government has failed to attract investment, maintain the growth of the economy or check crime.

The study by BJP think-tank Public Policy Research Centre, headed by party vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, compares statistics before and after the BJP-JD(U) split of June 2013, but does compare any of its data with national averages, which followed much the same trend as in Bihar.

“Under various direct and indirect pressures coming from new alliance partners [RJD and Congress] Nitish Kumar administration had to compromise on several big and small issues, severely threatening the quality of governance,” the paper reads. “His working style changed, decisiveness diminished and confusion prevailed in key policy areas.”


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From the Nitish camp, JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi said, “I condemn this exercise to dish out statistics selectively. They are targeting Nitish Kumar at all levels with skewed facts and figures. Even if these figures are partially correct, the blame should go to the Jitan Ram Manjhi government that came in between. He was propped by the BJP.”

A member of Indian Political Action Committee, which is helping Nitish’s campaign and publishing research papers under Prashant Kishore’s leadership, echoed, “Our preliminary analysis suggests there are some shortcomings in the methodology used, and that certain inferences have been made that are a deliberate attempt at misleading people with misuse of facts and figures.”

The paper says Bihar’s economic growth fell from 15.05 per cent in 2012-13 to 8.82 per cent in 2013-14. In 2010, it says, Bihar was the fastest growing state with its gross state domestic product growing at 14.15 per cent before falling to about 9 per cent now. Tyagi said, “Bihar’s GSDP growth is in double digit even today, which is more than Gujarat’s.”

The paper says investment proposals received fell from Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 2,290 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 657 crore in 2014-15 (till June). Tyagi said, “Why do we want special status? For incentives we can offer investors… You give us special status and we will compete even with Gujarat.”

The paper cites state government data to show a drop in infrastructure projects, including bridges and roads. Tyagi blamed the BJP government at the Centre for “not giving money to repair even existing roads”.

About crime, the paper cites police figures to show a 21 per cent rise in rape cases and a 16 per cent rise in kidnapping cases from 2012 to 2013. Tyagi challenges this with NCRB data: “Bihar’s crime rate is the lowest in the country. The rate in Madhya Pradesh is 358.5 cognisable crimes per lakh population while Bihar’s rate is 174.2.”

The BJP uses police figures again to show communal incidents rising from 9,768 in 2011 to 13,566 in 2014. It quotes from an Indian Express report: “Most of these incidents are clashes sparked off by clearly deliberate triggers: dumping of animal parts in places of worship… provocative sloganeering during processions passing through Muslim-majority neighbourhoods; communalisation of even trivial incidents such as a dispute during a cricket match…” Tyagi countered: “What is the reason behind the increase in communal violence? The BJP wants communal tensions to flare up.”

On social infrastructure, the study dwells on school toilets and health facilities. In 2011-12, it says, 22,575 new school toilets and 1,521 anganwadi toilets were made, which in 2013-14 fell to 5,076 and 1,437. Bihar has 0.67 community health centres per million population, compared to a national average of 4.43, and 17.83 rural government hospitals per million, as compared to 20.74. Tyagi said the number of toilets for girls in schools has risen from 6,334 in 2005 to 53,730 now.

“The problem with the BJP is that they give a spin to everything,” Tyagi said. “They forgot that Sushil Modi had said [before the split] that Nitish Kumar is PM material.”

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