The Bihar Post

Demand for special status from Centre turns into ugly fight between BJP, JD-U

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PATNA—The continued demand for granting special category status to Bihar from Centre has now resulted in ugly verbal spats between the Janata Dal United (JD-U) and the BJP, two key alliance partners in the ruling NDA government in Bihar.

The overall situation has come to such a sorry passé that that the BJP is now straightway blaming the “policies” of the JD-U behind the backwardness of the state. The BJP hit out at its coalition partner after the latter launched an intensive campaign on Twitter while tagging the PM.

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Apparently annoyed at the continued demand for special status to Bihar, state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal today came down heavily on the JD-U saying how the Centre had paid special attention to the state in matter of fund allocation. Through a lengthy Facebook post, Jaiswal virtually sought to convey a clear message to his party ally that the state doesn’t require special status to move ahead.

“Bihar is already getting more central assistance than states like Maharashtra and West Bengal, which are almost of the same demographic size,” Jaiswal said and pointed out deficiencies of the state like sub-optimal resource utilisation, hostile attitude towards entrepreneurship and reluctance to pursue an aggressive policy of population control.

While he lauded the efforts of party colleague and industry minister Shahanawaz Hussain in promoting industries, he asked the entire council of ministers to lend him “support”. He wondered over the general mindset of treating as villain anybody who wishes to set up a new business but didn’t make it clear whom he was referring to.

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Further, the BJP chief mocked the chief minister’s idea of controlling population boom through spreading education and said it would be too late if the state didn’t initiate some urgent measure. Jaiswal also flayed the state government for its failure to properly utilise money received as part of a special package announced by the prime minister.

A day ago, PHED minister Rampreet Paswan of the BJP had said Bihar was already on the path to progress without special status. He claimed the Centre was allocating enough funds for Bihar.

The BJP leaders came up with “clarifications” in response to the top JD-U leaders constantly raising the demand for granting special status to Bihar. For the past several months, two senior JD-U leaders, party’s national president Lalan Singh and party’s parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha, have kept on regularly raising the issue through their Twitter handles, while urging the Prime Minister to take note of their demand.

The issue got a fresh twit when minister for parliamentary affairs and education Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, considered close to the chief minister, jumped into the controversy and described as just the party’s demand given the “backwardness tag” allegedly attached to Bihar by the NITI Aayog.

“Bihar has been shown on the last position of multi-dimensional poverty index prepared by the NITI Aayog which is nothing but to deny the achievements of the state and discourage the state government. If that is really the case, Bihar indeed deserves the special status to keep pace with developed states,” Chaudhary explained.

But what is strange, chief minister Kumar himself has been mysteriously silent over the issue and has not spoken a word in the past one month.

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