| Lalu Prasad addresses the rally at Rajendra Stadium in Katihar on Wednesday. Picture by Mukesh Kumar Jha |
Katihar, Nov. 7: RJD chief Lalu Prasad today accused chief minister Nitish Kumar of cheating the people of the state by misusing the funds of various Centre-sponsored development schemes.
Addressing a rally at Rajendra Stadium in the town as part of the sixth-leg of his Parivartan Yatra, Lalu said: “The condition of education in the state is very poor. Students don’t go to schools to study anymore: they go either for mid-day meals or for a cycle or a dress.”
In his signature style, the former chief minister said: “In the Lalu-Rabri regime, students used to go to school with slates in their hand. Now, they go armed with plates. All the funds of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan are being diverted to buy dresses or cycles for students.” Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a flagship project of the Union government aimed at achieving universal elementary education for children aged between six and 14.
He also spoke on alleged mismanagement of other schemes. “Recently, the funds allotted for the National Health Insurance Scheme was misappropriated and incorrect reports were submitted about the number of women who had their uteruses removed. The reports also had the names of men whose uteruses were removed. Is this susashan (good governance)?”
Focussing on other aspects of education in the state, Lalu said: “The salary of contractual teachers is less than that of a peon. Can they provide quality education at such low remuneration? But when they tried to demonstrate and voice their demands during Nitish Kumar’s Adhikar Yatra, he tried to silence them instead of listening to them.”
Nitish had undertaken a number of yatras (journeys) to various districts to promote the November 4 Adhikar Rally of the JD(U) in Patna. The rally was organised to strengthen the demand of special status for Bihar. During the visits to and public meetings in the districts, the chief minister had to encounter demonstrations of the contractual teachers. Some JD(U) leaders had alleged that the protests had been orchestrated by the RJD.
Lalu also accused the government of not being able to attract investors or industries to the state. “Not even a needle factory has been set up in the state during the rule of the present government. Not even an extra unit of electricity has been produced in the past seven years. No new medical or engineering college has come up, while Students are forced to go out for higher education. The migration of labour is in unabated.”
RJD leaders like Ram Kripal Yadav, Ram Chandra Purbey, Samrat Chaudhary and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui shared the stage with Lalu.