While JD (U) attributes it to the charisma and work culture of chief minister Nitish Kumar, the BJP reminds that it happened because the health ministry was headed by their man Ashwani Kumar Choubey.
The poll-bound Bihar is witnessing an interesting battle between the former allies – BJP and JD (U). Both the parties now arch rivals, who ruled the state together for eight long years, are vying to take credit for development indicators, and most visible of them — the biggest fall in child mortality ratio.While JD (U) attributes it to the charisma and work culture of chief minister Nitish Kumar, the BJP reminds that it happened because the health ministry was headed by their man Ashwani Kumar Choubey.Choubey, now an MP from Buxar, takes pride that the number of children dying before their first birthday has declined in Bihar by 33 per cent over the last 10 years, reducing from 66 per 1,000 live births in 2000-02 to 42 in 2013, bringing it closer to national average of 40. But JD (U) leader K C Tiyagi counters, questioning that if the trend was because of the BJP, then why other BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh remain the worst places to be born in India? The MP continues to have mortality figures at 54, Rajasthan 47 and Chhattisgarh 48 per 1,000 births.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A document prepared by BJP claims credit for growth, increase in incomes and agricultural output due to its presence in alliance till June 2013. It states that Bihar’s economy grew at the rate of 15.05 % in 2012-13 and after the split it fell down to 8.82% in 2013-14. It further says that agriculture GDP has also declined by 11.58% from Rs 32,694 crore to Rs 28,908 crore. The document further says that there is an increase of 31% in debt and it has doubled in the last five years. But the JD (U) has countered it, saying in 2005-06, when Nitish Kumar took over, the debt was 51.5%, but it was reduced to 26% in 2014-15.The BJP document has also mentioned alarming crime figures, making a case that the state was returning to ‘jungle raj’ an euphemism for the reign of RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is now an ally of Nitish Kumar. “There was 21% rise in rape cases and 16% in kidnappings in 2014 over 2013, and incidents of theft have also increased by 35%,” the document said.Also it has stated that there has been substantial increase in the number of riots. Quoiting official figures from Bihar Police, it claimed that while there were 97,688 cases of riot in 2011, as many as 13,566 cases were reported in 2014. But the JD (U) document has countered this, saying the police have defined petty quarrels involving five or more persons as riots. “Out of 13,566 cases of rioting, only 61 come under communal category in 2014 against 63 in 2013, which is less than 10% of the total cases reported,” the JD (U) counter document stated.
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