With general elections due in two months, Lok Sabha on Friday saw on its last day members raising demands for special status to six backward states, including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Interestingly, BJP and JD(U), which parted ways a few months back, were united in demanding special status for Bihar, as recommended by the Raghuram Rajan Committee, sayingthe UPA government has “failed” to provide justice to the state despite its overall backwardness. The issue was raised during Zero Hour by BJP member Uday Singh who said UPA government was discriminating against Bihar and it should provide special status to the state.
“Before the tenure of UPA government comes to an end, it must accord special status to Bihar,” he said. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha alleged that the Central government has been sitting over the report of the Raghuram Rajan Committee instead of taking action on it. He asked why cannot the Centre accord special status to the six states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as recommended by the Raghuram Rajan Committee.
However, RJD members Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Prabhunath Singh tried to disrupt Sinha’s speech by saying that when NDA was in power, they did not do anything for Bihar.
Shailendra Kumar (SP) demanded a special financial package of Rs 80,000 crore for Uttar Pradesh. Participating in the debate, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said grave injustice has been meted out to Bihar by the Central government by not granting special status to it. “When injustice keeps happening, the country becomes weak and finally it leads to its disintegration,” he said.
Lauding the government for according special status to Seemandhra following bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Yadav said condition of Bihar has become worse after the creation of Jharkhand, but no special assistance was given to the state. Despite the Raghuram Rajan Committee’s recommendation, government has not granted the special status to Bihar even though it is backward in respect of education, industry, trade and overall growth. Soon, BJP members, led by Shahnawaz Hussain stood in the aisle and demanded an assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was not present in the House, on the issue.
Only two Cabinet Ministers — Farooq Abdullah and Oscar Fernandes — were present in the House but they did not say anything. DMK leader T R Baalu demanded that India must move the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution to condemn the alleged human rights violation of Tamils in Sri Lanka. He claimed that Indian government has been silent over the alleged human rights violation of Sri Lankan Tamils.
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