Bihar govt pioneered `toilets first` slogan: Nitish Kumar
Patna: In an apparent reference to Narendra Modi`s `toilets first, temples later` remark, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said the Bihar government had pioneered the slogan in 2007.
"Officials popularised the concept among the people, but some people are now talking about toilet first and temple later," he said here, without naming Modi.
"During vikas yatras and other public meetings in 2007, 2008 and 2009, we used to administer oath to the people to construct toilet at their homes," he said at a function on World Sanitation Day.
Kumar also announced that those who do not have a toilet at home would be ineligible to contest local bodies elections.
Asserting that the Panchayati Raj Act would be amended to ensure public awareness about sanitation, Kumar said Panchayats achieving 100 per cent sanitation would be given the `Nirmal gram panchayat` award.
The award would comprise Rs 5 lakh and a certificate, he said.
For block level, the `Nirmal Prakhand` prize of Rs 25 lakh would be given for achieving 100 percent sanitation.
The Chief Minister said a bridge fund would be established in every panchayat with allocation of Rs 2 lakh to each. It could be used along with MGNREGA to construct toilets.
He said the Centre has been requested to raise the target to construct toilets for 2.19 crore people in villages.
Kumar said the state government wanted every household in the state to have a toilet by 2020.
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