RJD protests against unemployment with candles

Tejashwi headlines party event with nine-minute vigil at 9 p.m., says youth cheated by ‘double-engine’ Bihar government

September 10, 2020 12:00 am | Updated 12:00 am IST - Patna

RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap and mother Rabri Devi hold lanterns as mark of protest in Patna on Wednesday.

RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap and mother Rabri Devi hold lanterns as mark of protest in Patna on Wednesday.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders and supporters turned off lights and lit candles and lanterns for nine minutes from 9 p.m. on Wednesday night to raise the issue of unemployment in the State. Party leader Tejashwi Yadav, on the occasion, slammed the “double-engine government”, blaming it for the sorry state of affairs.

‘Batons in place of jobs’

“Bihar has the most number of young people in the country and has the highest unemployment rate. There are 4.5 lakh government job vacancies here but the youth have been cheated by this double-engine government. It keeps promising jobs for them but when they come out on the streets demanding jobs, the Nitish Kumar government rains baton on them,” alleged Mr. Yadav.

Bihar’s Leader of the Opposition, along with his mother Rabri Devi and elder brother Tej Pratap, stood with lanterns for nine minutes on the terrace of their official residence, 10, Circular Road, with the house staff following suit.

Similar scenes were also witnessed at the RJD party office in Patna and other places across the State.

“Today unemployment has become the biggest issue in Bihar. At 46.61%, it is the highest in the country. Why has Bihar become the centre of unemployment?” said Mr. Yadav. He alleged that the State government did not provide any employment opportunities to the migrant workers who had returned home during the lockdown.

Earlier, on September 5, Mr. Yadav had also launched a portal Berojgarihatao.co.in and a toll-free number for unemployed youth to register, promising them jobs if his party came to power after the upcoming Assembly elections. The Bihar polls are due in October-November this year and the Election Commission is expected to announce dates by the end of September.

JD(U) jibe at RJD event

Taking a jibe at the RJD event, ruling Janata Dal (United) leaders questioned the need for lighting lamps and lanterns when “every household in the State has power supply for over 22 hours every day”.

“The lantern age in Bihar is over now,” quipped party spokesperson Niraj Kumar, hinting at the RJD party symbol. State BJP leaders too slammed the Opposition party. “After Assembly elections, Tejashwi Yadav will search for his employment lantern in hand,” said BJP leader Nikhil Anand.

Tejashwi, however, hit back using the JD(U) symbol. “The ruling party may say the time of the lantern has gone but I would like to ask them if the time of the arrow [JD(U) party symbol] has come,” he said.

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