Deriding the BJP manifesto for bringing controversial issues like Ram Temple, Article 370 and Common Civil Code “into focus” again, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on justified JD(U)’s decision to part company with it.
“By bringing contentious issues like construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, abrogation of Article 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of Uniform Civil Code which have been kept out of NDA agenda since 1998 have been brought back into focus for vote…our decision to part company with BJP stands vindicated,” Kumar told reporters.
Kumar had been instrumental in JD(U) breaking off with BJP after 17 years of association in June last year over elevation of Narendra Modi. Trashing the BJP manifesto, the Bihar CM said it had no clarity about steps to check price rise and is silent over the vital question of whether it is in favour of purchasing natural gas at 4.20 per dollar or 8.40 dollar.
The vision document of BJP, “which is in a hurry to come to power”, has no space for issues concerning Bihar like the special category status, he said.
“Despite all hue and cry made by the Bihar BJP leaders that their leader will provide special category status to Bihar after coming to power, it is completely silent on the subject,” he said. The manifesto only refers to giving priority to economic development of eastern states to bring them at par with western states.
“But, even on this, there is no analysis for backwardness of eastern states like Bihar and concrete steps to end them,” said, adding, “it has been written only in the form of an election slogan.” Flanked by JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi and journalist-turned-newly elected Rajya Sabha member Raghuvansh, Kumar, he said a close reading of the BJP manifesto made it amply clear that its key words were “communal polarisation” and “promoting crony capitalism.”
He also took potshots at rivals RJD and Congress and said Lalu Prasad’s assertion in his party manifesto that they would facilitate special status for Bihar is merely a “joke”. “Prasad has been with Congress for more than 10 years and was also a powerful minister in UPA I, then why he did not do anything on this count?” he asked.