| Sushil Kumar Modi addresses a news conference at the BJP party office in Patna on Monday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Patna, Sept. 23: Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi today accused chief minister Nitish Kumar of portraying the special category status demand like it were a magic wand to end Bihar’s woes.
“Just special category status won’t help the state,” Modi said. He, however, said the BJP favoured special category status and a special package for the state. He said a special package had been extended to Bihar during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and many development projects undertaken during the period.
Explaining the central assistance that states get under the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula, Modi said there was no difference between general category (GCA) or special category (SCA) states as both got only grants and not loans, the latter being arranged from the market. Modi also said that the BJP had time and again asked the JD(U) to explain how Bihar would benefit from the special status, but the party had failed to reply.
Ranbir Nandan, state general secretary of the JD(U), attacked Modi saying, “Why didn’t Modi raise the issue when the BJP was part of the government? Why now?”
In another development many leaders from different parties joined the BJP today. Janak Charmar, BSP’s state vice-president who had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Gopalganj, joined the BJP with many supporters. BJP state president Mangal Pandey said: “With Janakji joining the BJP, the party has become stronger, consolidating its presence among Scheduled Castes.” Others who joined the BJP today include former RJD MLA from Sursand (Sitamarhi) Ramswarath Rai and JD(U) technical cell vice-president Rajesh Sinha.
No fee for Hunkar
In Hyderabad they shelled out Rs 5, in Delhi they will pay Rs 10, ditto in Bangalore to watch BJP’s star campaigner Narendra Modi. But no fee will be charged when the BJP’s Prime Minister hopeful arrives in Patna for next month’s Hunkar rally.
Sushil Modi said: “Entry fee was imposed elsewhere as the event was held in enclosed spaces. Here, we are holding the event in Gandhi Maidan, which is open to everybody. The event is not just for party workers. It is for the masses. Entry will be free.”