Addressing an impressive gathering in the state capital on Sunday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar made a fervent pitch for a ‘special category state’ status.
In a speech scripted to invoke Bihari sub-nationalism, Kumar called for a “fight to finish” to secure the demand, at his Adhikar Rally.
“We have filled Gandhi Maidan. Let’s do the same with Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi in March,” he said.
Flanked by JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav, Kumar said the Centre had been “discriminating” against Bihar, as it had been rejecting the repeated pleas to grant the special category status to the state.
Kumar appealed the people to vote, in the 2014 general elections, only for the party that would promise to deliver the special category status.
Speaking at the rally before Kumar, Yadav said governments had fallen whenever people of Bihar had launched a struggle.
Kumar also called for chief ministers of other economically backward states to come together on one platform and launch a struggle for the grant of special category status.
Kumar said Bihar, a land-locked state with no sea route, was finding it difficult to catch up with national development indices in the absence of incentives it would get as a special category state.
A resolution, read out by rally convenor, water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary, and duly adopted, said the rally articulated the aspiration of
10 crore Biharis for the special status.
Modi’s silence speaks volumes
On Nitish Kumar’s big day, Narendra Modi’s cameo surely had a distinct political flavour of its own.
Though the Gujarat CM’s 30-minute visit to Patna on Sunday remained apolitical by way of what he spoke, Modi created quite a buzz even in his silence.
Modi may not have stolen the thunder from Kumar’s Adhikar Rally, but his visit caused a virtual stampede at the Kautilya Nagar residence of former Gujarat governor Kailashpati Mishra, who died here on Saturday at the age of 86.
Bihar BJP leaders were almost pushed to the side by a massive crowd that had assembled at the venue to get a glimpse of the man many in the party fancy as the next prime minister.