DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The BJP’s alliance troubles are threatening to spread to Bihar, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party mirroring Andhra Pradesh’s demand for special status.
Two ministers of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are set to quit the central government and two BJP ministers have already left the Naidu government.
Now Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United has pressed for special status, which ensures a vast infusion of central funds into a state.
“Bihar cannot progress without special status. We support Andhra Pradesh’s demand. Today Andhra Pradesh is at the same place where Bihar was after its bifurcation. All the resources have gone to Telangana,” said Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi.
Nitish Kumar has repeatedly demanded special status for Bihar and has also appealed directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Even after achieving double digit growth rate during the last many years, we are still behind the national average on major developmental parameters – poverty line, per capita income, industrialisation, and social and physical infrastructure,” the Chief Minister wrote in a letter to the PM in May last year.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had also sat on a five-hour protest in Patna.
In July, Nitish Kumar dramatically walked out of the grand alliance with Lalu Yadav’s RJD and the Congress and reunited with his party’s 17-year-old partner BJP. Since then, he has often talked about special status for his state.
Speaking on the demand by team Nitish Kumar, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who is also from Bihar, said: “Nitish Kumar’s government has been demanding special status for Bihar for long and we’ve got a special package, which is monetarily as beneficial as special status. But, despite this some people aren’t satisfied and to them, I will just say that India can only grow in NDA’s regime.”
Last evening, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Centre was happy to give Andhra Pradesh funds, but “special category status” as demanded by Mr Naidu was not possible.