The Telegraph
Saturday , March 1 , 2014
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BJP to campaign hard on special status

The BJP on Friday decided to include the special status demand in its poll manifesto — a move virtually aimed at hijacking the pet issue of the JD(U).

The day the BJP stalled movement of more than 200 trains demanding special status and financial package to the state, its senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi said: “The special status demand for Bihar, along with special package and tax holiday, would be one of the issues in our poll manifesto in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.”

Modi said every party has state-centric issues in their poll manifesto. The demand for special status category and special package would be the poll manifesto of Bihar BJP.

Attacking the JD(U) in general and chief minister Nitish Kumar in particular, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said: “The JD(U) has hijacked the special status category issue from the NDA.” He said only if the NDA formed the government at the Centre under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the state would get the special status and special package.

The move of the BJP to include the special status issue is being seen as a deft move to woo voters and an attempt to hijack the ruling JD(U)’s pet subject a day after chief minister Nitish Kumar announced that he would start his Sankalp Yatra all over again. Nitish had concluded his two-month Sankalp rallies at Didarganj on February 16.

The BJP leaders claimed that the according special status to Bihar was an NDA subject but the JD(U) tried to hijack it. Sources said the Assembly passed a resolution in April 2006 when the JD(U) and the BJP were partners demanding that Bihar be accorded special status category as it had suffered huge financial losses arising out of its bifurcation in 2000. But the Union government rejected the state’s demand for a special category status in 2012. It claimed that Bihar did not fulfil any of the criterion for getting the status.

The JD(U) wasted no time to claim that the special status issue was its subject. The party’s state president, Bashishtha Narayan Singh, said: “True, the Assembly passed the resolution demanding special status to Bihar, but it was the main agenda of the JD(U) and not of the BJP.”

Taking up the issue, the JD(U) first handed over 1.25 crore signatures of people to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a special category status to Bihar. It also organsied Adhikar rallies — first in Patna on November 4, 2012 and later on March 17, 2013 in New Delhi.