In a clear indication of Congress’ attempts to woo Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar as a possible ally, the UPA government is likely to appoint a committee to look into his demand for special status for his state.
The move follows Kumar’s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, finance minister P Chidambaram and planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
“What I have gathered after the meetings is they will make some move forward. If they move forward, it’s a matter of great happiness,” Nitish said after the meeting.
Sources said the government may either form a committee or let the finance ministry initiate a move to look into Nitish’s demand, entitling Bihar to loans and assistance from the Centre and tax waivers for industry.
To a specific question on whether he feels that proximity between the Congress and the JD(U) will help achieve the special status goal, Kumar said, “This has no political meaning. This is clearly aimed at development. If any politics is involved in it, it is the politics of development. There is no politics of permutations and combinations. There is no politics of going here and there.”