September 27, 2021 11:41:17 pm
A key aide of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said the JD(U) is “tired” of requesting for special category status for the state and can not keep raising the demand “indefinitely”.
This was said by Vijendra Yadav, a former state president of the party and a powerful member of the cabinet, in reply to queries from journalists about the demand which has been close to Kumar’s heart.
“We are not going to raise the demand anymore. How long can we go on doing so? We are tired (ham log thak gaye hain). We can not go on raising the demand indefinitely (anvarat)”, snapped Yadav.
He shrugged at questions that the stance may cause JD(U) to face criticism from the opposition, given Kumar’s proclaimed commitment to securing special category status for Bihar.
Predictably, Congress lashed out at JD(U) for the comment saying it exposed the “duplicity” of the party on the issue.
“Now it is clear that special category status was just a political stunt for JD(U). It never meant business. We will expose the party before the people,” AICC media panellist and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said.
Notably, Kumar had been raising the demand ever since the state was truncated in 2000 and mineral-rich Jharkhand was carved out of it.
Five years later when he assumed power in the state and there was a renewed thrust on the demand during the Manmohan Singh regime.
Kumar, an NDA ally, had raised many eyebrows when before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls he had said that he would support “any government” that promised to grant the status to Bihar.
The demand went unheeded and after the NDA returned to power under Narendra Modi’s leadership, Bihar was told by the union government that the special category status can not be granted to any state now since the provision had been scrapped upon the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
When a demand to the effect was made by representatives of all parties before N K Singh, the chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, he ducked the issue saying that it was for the National Development Council to take the call.
Singh, who is now with the BJP, had formerly been a JD(U) Rajya Sabha member and a strong votary for the special category status for Bihar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.