Patna, March 13: The Congress in Bihar, which has tied up with Lalu Prasad’s RJD for the ensuing elections, today said it would take a call on whether to support the JD(U) government in the state when there was a confidence vote.
“We will decide when the state government seeks a confidence vote in future,” Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary said when asked if his party would continue to support the Nitish Kumar government after allying with Lalu, his known detractor.
The Nitish government has at present 116 MLAs in the House of 243, losing a big chunk when it broke up with the BJP, which has 91 members, last June. “We (party) will take a decision when a motion of confidence is placed (in the House),” Choudhary said tersely to repeated queries if the party would inconvenience the Nitish government.
The question assumes significance considering the tie-up with the RJD and the Congress calling the chief minister’s demand for special status a political gimmick. The BPCC president even called chief minister Nitish Kumar’s eight-year-rule a complete failure on all fronts. And yet, in the Assembly, the Congress’s four MLAs are extending unconditional support to the Nitish government.
Choudhary, who was accompanied by senior leaders Chandan Bagchi and Chandan Yadav, said: “Nitish Kumar is not only trying to mislead people of the state but also trying to deflect people’s attention from the government’s failures. He is politicising the issue of special status just to reap benefits in the elections but the reality is he has failed to properly utilise funds given by the Centre to Bihar in the last 10 years.”
Asked why Bihar was not given special status while Seemandhra was accorded the same, Choudhary said the real culprit was Nitish Kumar, who was an influential Union minister in the NDA government when Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000. “Why didn’t Nitish raise the issue at that time?” asked Choudhury, who was declared elected to the Legislative Council along with eight others on Thursday.
Referring to the Raghuram Rajan committee report, the Bihar Congress chief said the panel recommended that states like Bihar required special financial assistance. He further said that the Congress-led UPA government gave Bihar Rs 1.42 lakh crore in the last 10 years against a “meagre” Rs 7,793 crore given to the state by the NDA earlier.