In yet another attempt to consolidate his caste-neutral base among women,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced 35 per cent reservation for them in police jobs.
Bihar Police is estimated to have 43,000 job vacancies,including of 25,000 constables,over the next five years.
“Reserving 35 per cent seats for women will be another step towards women empowerment that started with the government giving 50 per cent reservation to women to panchayats in 2006, the chief minister said in his address at a function to mark the 101st foundation day of the state,Bihar Diwas,Friday.
The announcement came weeks after Bihar Military Police got its first all-woman battalion in Bihar Military Police. The battalion is ready to be deployed against Maoists.
The chief minister also said his government would bring amendments to relevant laws during the ongoing Assembly session to give 50 per cent reservation to women in co-operative societies,including the Primary Agriculture Credit and Cooperative Society.
He said his government has started training schoolgirls in judo and karate. By the next Bihar Diwas function,we will see over 40,000 trained girls, he added.
Nitishs announcements are seen as another bid by his government to consolidate its women vote bank. The last Assembly election had seen over 10 per cent increase in turnout of voters,largely women and youth. Now stories are being told of women challenging family diktats to vote for Nitish because he has launched a host of women-centric schemes.
Such schemes include Akshar Aanchal Yojana,a literacy programme for married women; Auzar and Humar,vocational programmes for girls,Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Scheme; Mukhyamantri Poshaka yojana; Mukhyamantri Balika Protsahan Yojana. The state spends over Rs 2,800 for cycle,uniform and scholarship schemes for students.