| Chief minister Nitish Kumar at the rally in Chhapra on Friday. Telegraph picture |
Chhapra, Sept. 21: Sounding confident that the special status would be granted to Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar today said the Union government would not be formed without the support of 40 state MPs in 2014.
“It is important that you elect your MPs who demand special status, as their support will be key to formation of the next government at the Centre,” he said at the Adhikar Yatra in Saran, around 80km northwest of Patna.
He, however, did not elaborate whether the JD(U) would contest the next parliamentary elections alone and seek to win all 40 seats. Nitish also drummed up support for the Adhikar Sammelan at Gandhi Maidan on November 4.
He said President Pranab Mukherjee would release an agriculture roadmap pegged at Rs 1.5 crore on October 3.
Nitish said Bihar fulfilled all criteria of being given the special tag. “The special status is being denied on the plea that Bihar’s population is 10.5 crore and it is not a hilly area,” he said, adding that the state was situated near Nepal and water from the neighbouring country played havoc in the form of devastating floods. Nitish said Bihar had its own set of problems like floods and drought and jointly it had a crippling impact on the state’s economy. “Bihar has the highest population density and population pressure on limited land, besides development and infrastructure deficit. All these factors affecting growth makes it a fit case for special status,” Nitish said.
Taking a dig at Lalu Prasad’s proposed move to provide buses to schools in Chhapra, Nitish said: “People were supposed to provide buses to schools. How do they propose to meet the expense of fuel and drivers? Bicycles have become the symbol of independence, courage and self-confidence visible on hoardings of girls cycling their way to school.”