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CM miffed at ‘joke’ on state

New Delhi/Patna, Feb. 20: The Centre’s decision to grant special category status to Seemandhra for five years today prompted the JD(U) members in the Lok Sabha to storm the Well of the House after an enraged Nitish Kumar asked the party MPs to take up the matter.

JD(U) MP Rajeev Ranjan alias Lallan Singh demanded an explanation from Union finance minister P. Chidambaram on why Bihar is being deprived following specific instructions sent from the chief minister in Patna.

“The crucial meeting of the finance ministry scheduled for November 26 last year to decide on the special category to Bihar was cancelled mysteriously. The finance minister must explain the circumstances under which he cancelled the meeting,” Lallan said in the Lok Sabha.

Nitish, who watched the Parliament proceedings on TV in his Assembly chamber in Patna, was upset that the Centre swiftly announced special category status to Seemandhra, the residual part of Andhra Pradesh following the formation of Telangana, to ensure its continued prosperity.

“What a cruel joke on Bihar, which was divided in 2000. We have been carrying on the movement for special category status for the last eight years. The Centre constituted the Raghuram Rajan panel, which has given a favourable report. The Centre looked like conceding to our long-pending demand. But suddenly it has put Bihar’s case on the back-burner,” Nitish murmured to The Telegraph. “It amounts to cheating with Bihar.”

A pensive Nitish then picked up the phone and issued instructions to Lallan, who was possibly in the lobby of the Lok Sabha, to raise the matter.

Chidambaram responded later in the afternoon but refrained from promising anything, further angering the JD(U) members. “The Raghuram Rajan Committee report is under active consideration of the government. It is our intention to help the more backward states,” Chidambaram said.


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