Greenpeace wants development as a poll plank in Bihar

September 25th, 2010 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Sep 25 (IANS) Environment protection organisation Greenpeace India Saturday asked political parties preparing for the Bihar assembly elections starting next month to make development a poll plank.
“Development plank is missing as an issue. Parties are not serious on development issues,” said Ramapati Kumar, a campaigner with Greenpeace.

The environment group, along with the civil society network, has decided to launch a campaign to advocate decentralised renewable energy as the solution for energy needs of the state.

The campaign will reach out to 10 lakh people to make sure that development issues get priority from contestants, he said.

Addressing reporters at a press conference here, he said that political parties should focus on people’s issues. “We appeal to leaders to talk and debate about bijli-pani (electricity-water) and not jibe at each other,” Kumar said.

“Before the election dates were announced, there was optimism that the elections will be fought on issues of development. This hope has been replaced with despair with the return of political mockery. This needs to stop and be replaced with political consensus for development,” he said.

“As is the case generally in elections, all political parties have forgotten the main issues of development which should be fundamental to their election,” he said.

There have been constant protests all over the state for better supply of energy. The state government is even purchasing electricity from other states at higher rates. But that also is not helping.

A recent report by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) pointed out that Bihar has the highest peak deficit at 33.7 percent.

But not a single party until now has come forward to present its vision on how the state could become self-reliant in energy, he said.

A total of 55 million voters are eligible to take part in the electoral process spread over October-November. The first of the six-phase election to the 243-member Bihar assembly will be held Oct 21.

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