In last lap of Lok Sabha polls, JD(U) renews demand for special status to Bihar
JD (U)’s general secretary KC Tyagi, while talking to a new agency, asked the voters of Bihar to give the party at least 15 or more MPs and it would raise the issue of special status once again.Updated: May 09, 2019 15:42 IST
Ahead of the last two phases of Lok Sabha elections and a few days after senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said in an interview that the BJP would require the support of allies to form the next government at the Centre, ally JD (U) has once again raised the demand for special status for Bihar.
JD (U)’s general secretary K C Tyagi, while talking to a new agency, asked the voters of Bihar to give the party at least 15 or more MPs and it would raise the issue of special status once again. “We will put up a fresh demand for special category status for the state before the 15th Finance Commission. The special package granted to Bihar was a good move, and a permanent solution to all-round progress of Bihar can be possible only if the state gets special category status, a long-pending demand that was first made with the UPA government,” Tyagi said.
“There had been an all-party meeting in Patna on the matter. All political parties are unanimous on it. When a team of 15th Finance Commission visits Bihar in July, we will put forward our demand strongly,” he said.
Tyagi’s demand was backed by JD (U)’s state president Bashistha Narain Singh. “This is neither a new demand nor a new issue. We had demanded this from the UPA government. This will help in Bihar’s development,” he said.
Singh, however, said it was the personal evaluation of Ram Madhav and that “NDA will form government under Narendra Modi.”
JD (U)’s renewed demand for a special status for Bihar in the middle of Lok Sabha polls is being interpreted differently by various parties, depending on which side of the political divide they are.
JD (U) leaders denied any rift in the alliance. “It’s not at all an issue. The larger issue is to make Narendra Modi prime minister again,” said a senior JD (U) leader.
RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav seized the chance to attack chief minister Nitish Kumar. “Now, when he (Nitish Kumar) is seeing the writing on the wall, his party is again trying to fool the people. What was he doing so long on the issue? Who stopped him from doing so,” asked Yadav, who is leader of opposition in Bihar assembly.
Congress leader Premchandra Mishra said JD (U) could be preparing ground to distance itself from the BJP.
The BJP, however, denied any difference between the two alliance partners. “BJP is committed to development of Bihar and in last five years, prime minister Narendra Modi has done a lot for all-round development of the state and given huge amount to all sectors,” said BJP’s spokesperson Nikhil Anand.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has repeatedly demanded special status for Bihar and has also appealed directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Between 2006 and 2013, Kumar had turned his demand for special state status for Bihar into an emotive issue.