August 22, 2021

Bihar: Misgovernance Continues to Plague the State

Arun Kumar Mishra

THE devastating flood in Bihar has caused large scale destruction of infrastructure and rendered lakhs of people homeless, taking shelter on the side of highways and high lands without food, water and other essential needs. Among the 16 flood-ravaged districts, Bhagalpur is the worst affected and cut off from the state capital. The national highway connecting Bhagalpur is also under water. The so-called preparation of the government to face the flood is nonexistent. Very few community kitchens have been set up to provide food and other necessary facilities.  Scarcity of fresh water and the spread of water-borne diseases, is a matter of great concern which needs immediate attention. Though the chief minister has made an aerial survey of the flood-affected district, the district administrations are ill-prepared to meet the situation.

The Party has taken up the issue at the local levels raising the voice in favour of flood suffering masses in Darbhanga, Samastipur, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Nalanda and other districts.
It is very depressing to see that when all efforts should have been directed in providing food, shelter and other help to the flood affected people, JD(U) is indulging in the political drama of one up man-ship against each other.

Recently Nitish Kumar has taken a different stand vis-a-vis BJP regarding two-child policy, Pegasus spyware snooping issue and caste wise census. This has rattled BJP and a sort of war of words began between the two partners.

The CAG report put before the two houses of the assembly was categorical in its indictments of the NDA government for its total financial mismanagement causing Rs 3658.11 crores of revenue loss to the states exchequer only. CAG has also indicted the government for misutilisation of funds and institutional corruption in implementing the welfare measures meant for mahadalits and marginalised sections of society.

The track record of implementation of MNREGA in Bihar is dismal to say the least. CAG has suggested that the pace of registration of MANREGA workers should be increased immediately.

Bihar has the highest number of landless workers numbering 88.61 lakhs. Out of it 60.88 lakhs were surveyed and only 3.34 per cent were issued job cards. After that survey was stopped. No scheme was prepared to provide employment to economically vulnerable families.

Large scale migration even during the pandemic and after is the total failure of the government in generating employment.

Only one to three per cent of the registered MNREGA workers got 100 days of work. It badly impacted forestry, agriculture and panchayat raj development.

Mahadalit Development Mission, a very ambitious agenda of Nitish Kumar, tells the story of siphoning off allotted money. No account has been furnished of Rs 1.49 crores of bank subsidies. Nobody knows what happened to this money.

According to the report, agriculture is facing a systemic crisis in Bihar. The peasants in Bihar earn far less than their counterparts in other states. They earn only 45.317 rupees on average in a year. They are the poorest in the country.

The average monthly income of Bihar peasants is only 3,558 rupees in comparison with 6,426 rupees on a national scale, on the one hand, the input costs have grown many folds whereas the peasants are not assured of the MSP.

The state committee met on August 13 and chalked out a programme for organising Party conferences at different levels. The state conference will take place in the months of February 2022 in Samastipur.

The state committee also took the decision to campaign and mobilise the masses on 16 point demands in the month of September.

Bihar will send 1000 peasants to take part in the ongoing peasant movement in and around Delhi. They will reach the Singhu border on September 1.

Hannan Mollah, Polit Bureau Member also attended the meeting and reported the Central Committee decisions.