The recent talk on the ancestral links of Bal Thackeray and his family with Bihar may have kicked off a debate in political circles but chief minister Nitish Kumar, preferred to stay away from the issue on Monday, when the media pressed for his comments.
Kumar said his government was definitely focussed on preserving heritage sites and encourage excavations to discover facets of history buried under the earth in different parts of the state, but Bihar was not interested in digging out somebody's ancestral history.
"We have no interest in digging deep into any individual or any family's ancestral history. We are more keen on preserving our heritage sites," he said, evoking instant laughter from those around.
A recent claim by Congress's senior leader Digvijay Singh, that Thackeray's ancestors had lived for years on the banks of Punpun river during the Magadh rule in Bihar and later migrated to Maharahstra, has given much ammunition to Bihar leaders to step up their attack on the Shiv Sena and MNS leaders for their anti-Bihari tirade in recent days.
Kumar, however, stressed, that according special status category to Bihar was integral to state's development. He said, the demand cannot be ignored by any dispensation, which comes to power at the Centre in the future.
"I am confident, that the people of Bihar would give us a stronger mandate in the parliamentary polls and we would get the demand fulfilled on logical reasons from the dispensation which comes to power at the Centre," he said, replying to queries on RJD chief Lalu Prasad's recent comment, that the state qualifies more for a special package.
"Under the rules, regions having a hilly terrain and low population density qualify for special status. If Bihar does not qualify on that count, it does qualify for getting the status on the criteria of backwardness and high population density. The Union government has to accept these factors as criteria for fulfilling the demand," said Kumar.
In the same vein, he took a potshot at the RJD chief, stating, that he was making all such comments out of frustration over his eroding political fortunes. "Vinash kale, viprit buddhi (mental bankruptcy at the hour of peril)," he said.
Asked about DGP, Bihar Abhyanand's observation at the DGP conference in New Delhi recently, the chief minister said, there was no need to attach lot of meaning to it.
To another question on the decline in population of dolphins in Ganga, the chief minister said, steps were being taken to protect the endangered species by creating awareness and sensitivity on the importance of the marine mammals.
"The fact that the dolphins in the Ganga river basin has been accorded the status of national aquatic animal, has given a boost to the steps being taken for the protection of the species. But, there is a need to create awareness on the importance of the mammals in the entire Ganga river basin," he said.