Echoing the contention of the Congress about Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s sustained campaign to force the Centre to grant the state a special category status, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday described the move as a “drama” aimed at political gains rather than Bihar’s development.
Mr Paswan accused Mr Kumar of conveniently forgetting the financial needs of Bihar when he was a minister in the Atal Behari Vajyayee-led Central NDA government and said Mr Kumar, after assuming power in the state in 2005, went on hyping the development work carried out by his NDA government in the state and the resultant economic growth it cites while the ground realities remain unchanged.
“The demand for a special status to Bihar is a drama being enacted by Nitish Kumar,” said Mr Paswan to journalists.
The LJP chief’s statements, coming in the noticeable absence of similar forceful denunciations from RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in recent months, were seen as part of a one-upmanship game to secure extra proximity with the Congress central leadership after the recent reshuffle of the Union Cabinet saw both Mr Paswan and Mr Yadav being denied a ministerial berth despite they being hopeful.
After 1.25 crore people’s signatures from Bihar in support of the special status demand were presented to prime minister Manmohan Singh by the state’s ruling JD(U) last week, Kumar and his cabinet colleagues have spoken with a touch of optimism about their demand nearing a success. But the state Congress has carried on its contrarian view, stressing Bihar’s unsuitability for any such special package and the failures of Kumar’s NDA government to fully utilise central funds.
Mr Paswan released a booklet on the Economic Survey 2010-11 on Bihar and asserted that Kumar’s claims of development in the state and the amazing double-digit growth rate were far from reality because Bihar’s per capita income “has been the lowest”. The LJP chief said: “The Nitish Kumar government has failed on all fronts”. Asian Age