As Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was busy taking on the Prime Minister, his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar launched a veiled attack on the Gujarat growth model. But Kumar still took a leaf out of Modi’s book, seeking to invoke a sense of Bihari pride, much like the Gujarati asmitha that has served Modi so well.
After hoisting the Tricolour on Independence Day, Kumar said GDP growth cannot be the yardstick of development in a country where needs of different sections vary. The inclusive growth model in Bihar was better, he said, as it caters to the needs and aspirations of the people.
“The development model based on GDP growth benefited only some people while the model of ‘development with justice’ helped all sections,” he said. Bihar has adopted that model, which caters to the aspirations of the rich and the poor, the upper castes, OBCs, SCs, STs, women and children. “The basic idea is that the fruits of development must go to the common man.”
On earlier occasions, Kumar has citicised Modi’s thrust on industrial development and GDP growth to make a statement at the national level.
Bihar was never known for industrial production. But the state has been a centre for “knowledge and learning since ancient times,” Kumar said, citing the examples of Vaishali, Nalanda and Vikramshila. “Bihar framed laws of statecraft and the civil society and this has been our contribution to the world. We must be proud of our identity,” he said.