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Cong, hostile crowd spoil CM’s day
Pat for AAP, barb for Dal

Patna, Dec. 28: Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary praised Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, who was sworn in as Delhi chief minister today, for his clean politics devoid of pomp and show.

“Everyone in public life or in power should follow him (Kejriwal),” Choudhary said, when asked about Kejriwal taking a Metro (train) ride to his oath-taking as chief minister of Delhi.

Choudhary, who was talking to reporters at the party’s 129th foundation day function at the party’s state headquarters, Sadaquat Ashram, said the party had extended support to the AAP to fulfil promises made by AAP in its manifesto.

Notably, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had said the party needed to learn from the AAP and expressed hope he would be able to change the Congress, learning from the new party. He made the observations on December 8, the day results of four Assembly elections, including Delhi, were announced.

On former Union home secretary R.K. Singh’s statement, calling the Congress-led UPA government corrupt, the BPCC chief said Singh’s statement was baseless and an example of “opportunism”.

“Why did R.K. Singh keep mum when he was home secretary at the Centre? IAS officers are in hurry once they retire at the age of 60. They want everything in their short political career,” Choudhary said.

Choudhary also attacked chief minister Nitish Kumar for criticising the Centre on the issue of special category status to Bihar.

“Nitish’s JD(U) has made the special category status a political issue. Why didn’t he grant special category status to Bihar when he was an influential minister in the NDA government? Who had stopped him from according special status to Bihar? He is merely doing politics on the special status issue,” the Congress’ state president said.

As regards the Raghuram Rajan committee’s recommendations, it does not talk of granting special status to Bihar. Instead, it says that poor states like Bihar should be given greater financial assistance, Choudhary said. The state government had not been able to utilise the central funds, he said.

“Actually, Nitish Kumar has lost his (political) ground… He is making special status an issue as he has failed to develop the state,” he said.

Choudhary, who unfurled the party flag to mark the 129th anniversary of the party’s foundation, received a salute by Congress Sewa Dal. He also handed over a party flag to the Congress Sewa Dal’s state chief Santosh Kumar Srivastava. The party, which also celebrated the 91st anniversary of Sewa Dal and 125th birth anniversary year of Jawaharlal Nehru, distributed sweets and stationery items among poor children.