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    Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar talks about women quota, gives prohibition go-by

    Synopsis

    Turnout of women voters increased to 59.92% in 2015 from 54.85%in 2005 while that of men went up to 54.07% from 50.7% during this period.

    PTI
    Nitish Kumar focused on reminding voters about quota to empower women politically and work done for the marginalised, especially the most backward castes (MBCs), in his speeches at the five election rallies he addressed.
    Jehanabad, Masaurhi: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar focused on reminding voters about quota to empower women politically and work done for the marginalised, especially the most backward castes (MBCs), in his speeches at the five election rallies he addressed on Tuesday, while giving the issue of prohibition the go-by unlike in the past.

    He started his day early as he had to wrap up the rallies before evening, beginning with Bhorey, Gopalganj and the last in Masaurhi, Patna, all in constituencies where the JDU has fielded its candidates.

    A common factor in all the speeches was his reference to 50% reservation for women in panchayats implemented by his government. In his second address in Ziradei, Siwan, he also mentioned the cycle scheme for girl students, scholarship after completing class X and XII, and Jeevika mission for self-help groups in villages.

    The JDU has fielded women candidates from both Ziradei (Kamla Kushwaha) and Masaurhi (Nutan Paswan). Moreover, the JDU’s Lok Sabha member from Siwan is also a woman, Kavita Singh, making it easier for Kumar to showcase his efforts for women’s empowerment.

    “These are women and they only know how to work for the people. It is for you to make them win,” Kumar appealed to the crowd in Ziradei and Masaurhi. He cited more girls taking class X examination this year than boys as a proof of his women-centric policies.

    Bihar is one of the few states where women have come out to vote in greater numbers than men since the 2005 assembly polls. Turnout of women voters increased to 59.92% in 2015 from 54.85%in 2005 while that of men went up to 54.07% from 50.7% during this period. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, women voters’ turnout in Bihar was close to 60%. This time, the Election Commission is banking on women voters to take the voting percentage beyond 60%.
    Nitish Talks About Women Quota, Gives Prohibition Go-by
    Kumar also highlighted reservation for MBCs in Panchayati Raj. He said MBCs were used as a vote bank by the previous governments and they had no say in the local governance. MBCs account for 24% of total populace of the state and a good chunk of this segment votes for the JDU.

    In each of his rallies, Kumar also mentioned the record of improved law and order. At two places, in Bhorey and Ziradei, he quoted the National Crimes Record Bureau’s 2018 data to say that Bihar figures at 23rd position in the list of states.

    In contrast, he said about the 15 years of RJD rule, “No one could go out in the evening. Massacre and kidnapping was the order of the day.”

    The JDU’s candidate from Bhorey, Sunil Kumar, is a former Indian Police Service officer of Bihar, and Kumar praised him for his role in establishing law and order in the state.
    Unlike in previous elections, Kumar did not mention prohibition at all in his speeches.

    He briefly mentioned the free ration given by the central government till November 2019 in Raghunathpur and Masaurhi. He spoke mainly about his own achievements and work done by his government in the past five years.
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