Sharad Yadav blames BJP for Bihar not getting special status
Janata Dal-United (JDU) president Sharad Yadav has blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not doing enough to get special status for Bihar during their rule in the state.
"They do drama, the special status to Bihar would have been granted, if they had passed the issue in state assembly during their regime in the state," said Yadav.
"We have been fighting for this issue for a long time and we will make sure that we get special status for the state," Yadav added.
Yadav's remark came in response to an agitation carried out by BJP members and its supporters against the central government for its decision to deny special status to Bihar.
On Friday, BJP supporters staged a train blockade in Patna, and condemned the discriminatory approach on the demand of special category status by residents of Bihar.
According to the protesters, the Indian Government granted a special status to Seemandhra region, but did not pay heed to Bihar.
BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that they have been demanding special status for Bihar for a long time and the same will be granted if they are elected to power.
"We have always been telling that Bihar should get special status. Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, was earlier celebrating that they got special status for the state, but the Indian government never announced it. So, we make a commitment that when the BJP comes to power, we will grant special status to Bihar and will give special attention to states that are economically backward," he said in New Delhi.
However, the Congress Party pointed out that in a term of ten years, it has granted funds to Bihar approximately seven times more than what BJP had granted to the state.
"Bihar received Rs.17,000 crores during the BJP rule of six years, but UPA-led Indian Government sanctioned Rs.134,000 crores over the period of ten years in Bihar," said Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed.
Reportedly, the Raghuram Rajan Committee had last year identified Bihar as one of the least developed states.
The committee suggested splitting states into three categories and subsumed the previous special category criteria for providing special assistance to poorer states.
To put pressure on the federal government, the regional Janata Dal United (JDU) held a rally in Patna last year and in New Delhi earlier this year. The party also collected over 10 million signatures to back their demand for special status.
(Posted on 02-03-2014)