The BJP is all set to rob chief minister Nitish Kumar’s poll baby — special status for Bihar — in the Hunkar Rally.
“While the BJP supports special category status for Bihar, we are going to use the Hunkar Rally platform to demand a special package for Bihar,” said former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday.
He alleged that Nitish has “back-tracked” from his earlier demand for a special category status for Bihar and was now talking about funds distributed to the least developed states — the category Bihar and nine other states have been put in the Raghuram Rajan Committee — in the same manner as special category states. The demand for special category status for Bihar has been a long pending one of Nitish since 2009.
After launching a mass campaign on the issue and growing proximity with the Congress, the Union finance ministry set up the Raghuram Rajan Committee to make an index of backwardness, which, if accepted, will change the pattern of devolution of central funds to states.
However, the committee has expressed its opinion against giving special status to others and had divided states into three categories in which Bihar comes in the bottom after Odisha.
“Nitish was stressing that he wanted special status at any cost and projected it as the remedy for all ills of the state. There is no way that the Centre can give special status to 10 least developed states. The Raghuram Rajan Committee should have made a forth category of disadvantaged state and put Bihar in this category,” Modi stated.
Modi questioned Nitish’s wisdom as projecting special status category as the solution of all problems in Bihar.
He rattled out a list of pending projects in Bihar and asked the chief minister if the special status could complete these projects. “On October 31, 2008, the Centre had agreed to revive Barauni fertiliser factory. Will special status solve this problem?” asked Modi.