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Special tag jab at CM

Patna, July 16: Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today alleged that chief minister Nitish Kumar has been fooling the people over the special status tag for the state.

“The committee formed by the Union finance ministry under economic adviser Dr Raghuram G. Rajan has been given the job of recommending new criteria for deciding the backwardness of the state. It has no mandate to decide which state has to be given special status,” Modi said stressing that both the chief minister and the Union finance should clarify to the people of Bihar about the reality.

He alleged that the chief minister was giving the people the impression that the committee would give the special status to Bihar. Modi recalled that in Union finance minister P. Chidambaram’s budget speech for the current financial year, he had stressed the need to revisit the criteria to define backwardness of the states and allotment of central funds. “Chidambaram never uttered a word on special status to states,” the former state finance minister said.

He added: “The terms of reference for the committee formed for deciding the composite development index of states should be made public. The committee was supposed to give its report within 60 days. However, even after a lapse of 60 days, the committee is yet to give its report.”

“Modiji is reverting all his statements he had made when he was deputy chief minister. Why did he not say before that it was a fraud?” asked a JD(U) minister.

Committee member Shaibal Gupta said the panel makes a composite index of development. “However, there will be a strategy to bring states which are farthest from the national average. The strategy may be granting of further funds or granting them a special status. Granting a special status is one of the ways of banishing backwardness because it brings in more resources and also more private investments,” he said.

One-man party slur

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav today attacked Nitish Kumar saying the JD(U) is a one-man party.

He alleged that Nitish doesn’t consult party president Sharad Yadav. “If Nitish had consulted Sharad Yadav, the alliance would have not snapped.” Yadav also dared the chief minister to clear his stand on a tie-up with Congress.

The function also marked joining of Congress leader Ramlakhan Prasad Singh from Begusarai with the BJP. Singh had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket from Munger.