Patna: The Janata Dal (United) on Friday promised to stick to its ideology of zero-tolerance to communal strife, and made clear its disagreement with ally BJP over contentious issues like Ram Temple, Uniform Civil Code and abrogation of Article 370.
“Our stand on these issues is clear. We will maintain zero-tolerance to communal strife and never subscribe to any divisive view on issues like Ram Temple, Uniform Civil Code or abrogation of Article 370,” Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar told reporters while releasing JD(U)’s election manifesto with party president Sharad Yadav.
Stating that the manifesto was a “visionary charter of performance, promises and pledges for a new India”, Kumar said the party would try to ensure “inclusive growth”.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav (left ) and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar release party manifesto in Patna on Friday. PTI photo
“If we share the government (with BJP), we would like to create an inclusive society where growth benefits all,” the chief minister said.
The manifesto has special focus on reversal of neglect of minorities, removal of gender-based educational handicap, expansion of education among Muslims, particularly the weaker sections, and implementation of the Sachar Committee and Rangnath Mishra Commission’s recommendations for the minority welfare.
Contrary to the BJP’s stand, the manifesto favoured inclusion of Dalit Muslims and Christians among the scheduled castes and social identification of Dalits for more focused initiatives and also of extremely backward castes within the backward classes.
The chief minister said the JD(U) wanted initiation of special steps to ensure participation of women in multiple layers of governance and elected bodies, besides unleashing youth power by bettering training, improving educational opportunities and developing their inherent talent.
The manifesto sought to reverse current economic decline, review growth momentum, create new employment opportunities and improve the environment for fresh investment both for public and private sector and promote public private partnerships.
Kumar said JD(U) wanted a special package for Bihar given its endemic backwardness. “We also want enactment of a National Livelihood Act and more suitable methodology for identification of people living below the poverty line,” he said.
He laid stress on strengthening Centre-state relations with higher devolution of tax from 31% to 50%, depoliticising the allocations to states and making the national development council a statutory body.