Greenpeace challenges political parties to fight elections on development plank

Urges leaders to talk about bijli-pani and not jibe at each other

Press release - September 27, 2010
Greenpeace today called upon political parties to focus on people's issues in the elections instead of jeering at each other.The past few days have seen political parties and key leaders targeting each other through poetic mudslinging.

 Bihar is in the thick of political activity and parties are busy working on their strategy. Leaders are busy changing their position, party and ideology. Media space is being overtaken by issues related to political dynasty, attacks and counter attacks, poetic renditions, corruption charges, caste, class and religion. As is the case generally in elections, all political parties have forgotten the main issues of development, which should be fundamental to their election.

“Before the election dates were announced, there was optimism in Bihar that the transformation will continue and elections will be fought on issues of development. This hope has been replaced with despair with the return of identity politics, and political mockery. This melodrama needs to be stop and be replaced with political consensus for development”, said Ramapati Kumar, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Many issues are plaguing Bihar – lack of electricity being the foremost. There have been constant protests all over the state for better supply of energy. So much so that the state government is even purchasing electricity from other states at higher rates. But that also is not helping. A recent report by Assocham says that Bihar has the highest peak deficit at -33.7 per cent.

In spite of such pressing issues, not a single party until now has come forward to present their vision on how the state could become self reliant in terms of energy.

“Bihar Renewable Energy Development Support Network has been demanding political parties to espouse renewable energy to empower Bihar and illuminate the lives of millions still living in darkness. There is an opportunity for Bihar to choose an alternative energy path which will take the state in the direction of sustainable and inclusive development,” said Ramapati Kumar.

To compel parties to focus again on development issues during elections, Greenpeace along with civil society network is going to launch a campaign to advocate decentralized renewable energy as the solution for the energy needs of the state. The campaign will reach out to lakhs of people and political leaders to make sure that development remains the centre stage of elections.

Notes to Editor

1. The Bihar Renewable Energy Development Support Network (BREDSN) is a network of civil society organisations, academicians, intellectuals, renewable energy entrepreneurs working in the state of Bihar.

For further enquiries contact

Ramapati Kumar, Greenpeace India, +91 98455 35414, Shashwat Raj, Greenpeace India, +91 96868 61974, Shachi Chaturvedi, Greenpeace India, +91 98187 50007,