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New farm laws will boost employment for Bihar’s youth: Devendra Fadnavis

NEW DELHI: With his party facing questions on unemployment and lack of investment in Bihar, BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the recently passed farm bills will boost employment for farmers.

Speaking at BJP’s first “town hall” outreach campaign targeting young voters in Bihar, Fadnavis said the new laws – which have sparked protests by Opposition parties in many parts of the country – will reduce risk in the livelihoods of farmers by creating support and value chains.

Nearly 40 per cent of the startups today are agri-related and many of them are helping in the creation of virtual markets, Fadnavis said, adding that the youth of Bihar could specifically look at boosting the sale of litchi and makhana which are produced in large quantities in the state.

“In 2006, Maharashtra had a legislation like this, after which big food companies have been able to create aggregator supply chains with warehouses and transport facilities employing hundreds of people. Now tomatoes from Nashik go into making ketchup. I say this even to educated youth of the state who don’t want to get into agriculture,” he said.

Adding to this point, newly appointed Yuva Morcha chief Tejasvi Surya, said work-from-home would be the order of that day and that educated youth in any remote corner of Bihar could look for opportunities without leaving the state.

“The educated youth of Bihar are aspirational and relate more to startups and artificial intelligence than to lanterns,” the Karnataka MP said in a dig at rival RJD‘s poll symbol.

Taking on RJD’s Tejasvi Yadav who has constantly cornered BJP-JD(U) combine on wide-spread unemployment in the state, Surya said, “The dynasts of the Opposition have themselves been rendered unemployed with the rise of Narendra Modi.”

The event saw participation of youth from Supaul, Darbhanga, Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur. While a medical student pointed to the lack of medical infrastructure, a teacher from Bhagalpur talked about improving online tools for providing education. Digital penetration in Bihar is less that 35 percent, one of the lowest in the country.

Fadnavis blamed the previous RJD regime under Lalu Prasad Yadav for ” the poor law and order and infrastructure” that made industries leave the state. “But now the situation is changing with Modi’s insistence on infrastructure, electrification and agri-processing,” he said.

Unemployment has emerged as a key issue in Bihar with the RJD promising 10 lakh jobs as the first decision after coming to power.There are an estimated 3 crore young voters in Bihar. The State is set to go to polls from October 28 to November 7.

“The soul of Atmanirbhar Bharat is generating employment and Modiji is also looking at how we can become job creators and also skill people to be eligible for jobs. Skilling under the NEP is getting linked to education,” Fadnavis said.

BJP has rolled out digital workshops for its mandal heads on Tuesday to train them to organize “limited-group viewing” for upcoming jansabhas of PM Modi and other leaders. The party has planned three more town halls and over 20 digital workshops for its members in the next 15 days. Ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Narendra Tomar will talk to target groups of voters including teachers, farmers and women voters.