| Kosi Bedari Morcha president Ahmad Ashfaq Karim at the news conference in Patna on Friday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, Nov. 2: The Nitish Kumar government was today accused of ignoring the people of the Kosi region by not according special status to its eight districts.
Ahmad Ashfaq Karim, the president of a non-political outfit, Kosi Bedari Morcha, accused Nitish of ignoring the people of the Kosi region and demanded special status for Kishanganj, Madhepura, Saharsa, Khagaria, Purnea, Araria, Katihar and Supaul.
Karim, who runs a private medical college in Katihar, has been a party-hopper. He was among the first to join Samata Party when Nitish Kumar broke off with Lalu Prasad in 1994. Later, he joined the LJP and contested the parliamentary polls from Katihar on its ticket in 2009. Recently, he toyed with the idea of contesting the Rajya Sabha polls with the support of RJD. He, however, backed out at the last moment.
Addressing mediapersons at Scada Business Centre, Karim said: “The Kosi region districts are most backward and affected ones in Bihar. These districts are facing most natural calamities such as floods. This region is also affected by poverty, malnutrition, starvation and unemployment. There is no agriculture-based industry in this region, resulting in heavy losses to the farming of corn, makhana, banana, tea and jute.”
He added: “There is no development in the Kosi region, Nitish is asking for special category status for the state but he is denying special status to districts in his state. He is wasting public funds in the name of Adhikar Rally and doing nothing for the Kosi region.”
Karim further alleged: “Only after showing the plight of these districts to the central government and describing it as the most backward places, Nitish is seeking special category status for the state. But at least, he should first give special status to his districts. These districts will never come on the track of development unless given special status.”
Asked about the kind of benefit these districts would get if special status is accorded, he said: “After getting special status, it will become mandatory for the state to give subsidy in all fields, including opening a school in every block. The literacy rate in these districts is just 35 per cent. There is a problem in all sectors, including health. It will also stop migration triggered by less job opportunities.”