Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi stepped up his attack on the Congress, questioning P. Chidambaram’s “sincerity” with Bihar’s demand for the special category status again.
In an apparent indication, Modi said the BJP would keep on attacking the newfound “bonhomie” between Nitish Kumar and Sonia Gandhi’s party. “In his budget speech on February 28 itself, the Union finance minister had talked about constituting a committee to accord special status to Bihar,” said Modi, asking: “We are unable to understand what warranted upon Chidambaram to land in Patna after two months and 15 days to repeat the same thing.”
“He (Chidambaram) should have announced the constitution of the committee soon after his budget speech,” he said. Against chief minister Nitish Kumar reposing faith in Chidambaram’s announcement of constituting Raghuraman Rajan committee to revisit the criteria for assessing the backwardness of the states, Modi said: “If you read Chidambaram’s budget speech carefully, you will find him saying exactly the same thing.”
“UPA should have accorded the special category status to Bihar much before,” Modi said, casting strong doubts on Chidambaram’s sincerity with Bihar’s cause. “Bihar will get its due only when the BJP-led dispensation replaces the UPA-II regime post-2014 polls.”
Virtually trying to “terrify” Nitish against the Congress, Modi said: “The Congress takes a price for giving anything. It uses CBI against its alliance partners and opponents.” Specifically asked if Nitish was getting close to the Congress, the deputy chief minister said: “No sane person or party should get close to the Congress at the current juncture when the Congress ministers are resigning in hordes on the issue of corruption. It is too discredited to get friends and allies.”
Asserting that it was foolhardy to expect the Congress accord special category status to the backward states, Modi said: “The UPA dispensation had consistently been cutting down on the funds to the states. It has slashed the fund for the backward region grants and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. How can one expect the Congress to give special status to Bihar when it has slash the stipulated funds to the state?”
Modi said long ago the Centre had announced the setting up of two central universities in Bihar.
“But the Manmohan Singh dispensation has not even initiated the basic parliamentary process to set up Central University of Bihar at Motihari, which the state government had originally recommended for the same,” he said. “We are still sceptical.”