PATNA: In this covid-19 bound Bihar Assembly election, the Jesuits of Patna province took education and citizen’s awareness a step further , hosting a ‘Know your candidate event’ in the premises of one of Patna’s leading colleges.
Prominent candidates of Digha assembly constituency on Thursday, October 29, made their cases, presented sharply divergent views, expounded their political ideologies and stands on public policy issues while assuring the Christian minority community of safeguarding its “respectable rights.”
Participating in a ‘know your candidate’ event at St Xavier’s College of Management and Technology (SXCMT), Patna, Mr Sanjeev Chaurasiya of BJP, Ms Shashi Yadav of CPI-ML, Mr Sanjay Kumar Singh of RLSP and Ms Shambvi of The Plurals Party identified various problems of the constituency and spelt out their “vision and mission” to set things right. They also presented their plan for the welfare of minorities.
Initiating the debate, Mr Chaurasiya, recounted his achievements as the sitting MLA in the last five years. He said a person was recognized for his work and not words. Stating that he was committed to the BJP’s agenda of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas” , Mr Churasiya tried to strike a chord with the Christian community. “I had started my election campaign from St Michael’s High School in Digha where I learnt the first lesson in samskar,” he said.
“I also took up the work for the proper development of 55 slums. I have now moved a proposal for the riverfront development. The Centre will, hopefully, take a decision on it soon,” he added.
Ms Shashi Yadav, who represents the ‘Grand Alliance’ and the candidate for the Communist party of India (ML) said the “double engine” government was developing the state by using bulldozers to raze the houses of the poor. Referring the lack of job opportunities, she said the Patliputra Industrial Area was in a moribund state. “If elected, I will work for the revival of the Industrial Area,” she said while referring to the sufferings of the migrant workers during the Covid lockdown. “I will also ensure respectable salary for skilled women whose wages, at present, was abysmally low,” she added.
She also hit out at the “people trying to break the secular fabric” of the country and said the “Ganga-Jamuni tehzib” was the beauty of India.
Mr Sanjay Kumar Singh of the RLSP said the constituency was facing five problems—“jobs, education, health, traffic jam and crime”. He said if elected to the assembly, he would ensure opening of ‘mohalla clinics’ and ‘model schools’ in the constituency. “I will also work for the opening of a hi-tech hospital where every citizen would be provided medical facility free of cost,” he added.
He also promised a vending zone to rid the area of frequent traffic jam.
Ms Shambvi said 1024 acres of land in Rajiv Nagar and Nepali Nagar areas of the constituency were disputed and no serious effort had been made to resolve it. As such the area lacked basic amenities, she said. “With no street light in the area, the security of women was at stake,” she added.
Raising the issue of poor drainage, Ms Shambvi said recently she had to wade through knee-deep water to reach Nirala Nagar. “The sewage system has collapsed. The archaic system needs to be modernized immediately,” she added.
She said many jobs could be generated in the state by revamping and reviving the closed mills and opening new industries.
Listing her priorities, Ms Shambvi said she would work for “respectable rights of slum dwellers, creation of vending zone and providing a decent housing scheme.”
The event was moderated by Rev Fr Prashant Pius Osta SJ, who also happens to be the parish priest of Kurji parish, the most populous one in Patna Archdiocese with an estimated population of some two thousand Catholic voters. Earlier, welcoming the candidates and guests, Fr Raj Kumar SJ stressed on the importance of knowing the “vision and mission” of candidates before casting votes.
Digha constituency will go to polls on November 3.
[Based on information provided by Alok Mohit.]