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It was RJD that sought special status, says Lalu

Lalu Prasad Yadav attacks Nitish Kumar's demand for special status category to Bihar as 'mere hogwash'.

patna Updated: Sep 12, 2012 13:06 IST

RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday, mounted a frontal attack on chief minister Nitish Kumar describing his demand for special status category to Bihar as ‘mere hogwash’ to befool the people of Bihar, ahead of the parliamentary polls.

“Kumar is assiduosly working to emerge as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate for the next parliamentary polls by seeking to rally behind him the people of Bihar to get special category status for the state,” he said.

The RJD chief also maintained, that it was the Rabri Devi government, which in early 2000 had pitched for grant of special status category to Bihar in the light of bifurcation of the state, for which an all party delegation had met Union ministers, including Nitish Kumar, who was a minister in the then NDA government at the Centre.

“It was Nitish, who had opposed the demand for special status category to Bihar, saying the Union government had sanctioned a number of projects to the state. Now, he is singing a different tune. If he is so serious about the demand’s fulfillment, he should come with us to launch an agitation,” said Prasad, while talking to reporters in Patna.

The RJD chief also claimed, that the proposal for special status to Bihar had been rejected by the national development council ( NDC).

“Bihar does not fit the criteria for special status. NDC has rejected the proposal. Will the Nitish government now change the criteria for fulfillment of the demand?” wondered Lalu, adding, “The state would do better by seeking special package for all round progress.”

Of late, the RJD chief and the chief minister have stepped up attacks on each other over the issue of special status category to Bihar, owing to the fact, that the ruling JD(U) has projected the demand as a basic need for the state to achieve higher growth.

Nitish’s Adhikar rally on November 4 on the same demand is an attempt by the JD(U) to mobilise peoples’ support on the issue, a fact which has worried the RJD chief, considering, it could have its political impact on the general polls in 2014. “The state government is misusing official machinery to mobilise support for the Adhikar rally,” Lalu alleged.

Prasad also accused the Nitish Kumar government of allowing private investors to use water from Chanan and Orni dams in Banka district for power plants, ignoring the interest of the farmers, who were dependent on the dams for irrigation.

“On one hand, private investors are being allowed to use water from the dams while on the other, the government refused to allow a nuclear power plant at Rajauli in Nawada reasoning there was no sufficient water supply. Isn’t this a step against the interest of the state?” asked Prasad, while insisting, that the Centre had sent a team to look into the viability of the power plant so that it helps in higher generation of power.

The RJD chief also took potshots at the chief minister for creating a hype about his forthcoming Pakistan visit, observing that such visits by MPs and public representatives of both countries keep on taking place from time to time.

“It is good, Nitish is visiting Pakistan. But, why is he feeling shy of visiting Gujarat at the time of the assembly polls there? The chief minister should clarify that,” said Prasad, reacting to the chief minister’s non-committal stand on visiting Gujarat for campaigning.

First Published: Sep 12, 2012 13:02 IST