Congress criticises Narendra Modi for refusing Nitish Kumar's demand to grant special status to Bihar

Patna: The Congress on Thursday charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with having "insulted Bihar by refusing to even acknowledge the demand for grant of special status to the state" when the same was raised by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a meeting of Niti Ayog on Sunday.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

"Nitish Kumar, after all, is not the chief minister of Janata Dal (United). He is the CM of Bihar and, as such, the demand raised by him was an expression of the aspirations of the people of the entire state. The PM insulted the entire state by taking no note of Kumars demand," Shakti Sinh Gohil, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for the state, told reporters in Patna.

The prime ministers "cavalier attitude smacks of the arrogance that has permeated the entire Bharatiya Janta Party" ever since it has assumed power in the country. And the party will get a "befitting reply" in the next Lok Sabha polls, he said.

Gohil said, "what was preventing the Prime Minister from having at least said that past promises of grant of special status and special package were electoral rhetoric and that he will again make such promises once elections were round the corner".

Asked about whether the Congress would grant special status to Bihar if it comes to power at the Centre, Gohil said "it is my personal opinion that the state deserves a special category status as well as a special package. However, at the moment I can assure that the Congress will definitely come up with a blueprint for tapping the enormous potential of Bihar and extend whatever help is possible within budgetary constraints".

About reports that Congress was open to a fresh alliance with Nitish Kumar, who had dumped the Grand Alliance in 2017 to rejoin the NDA, Gohil said "until he is in alliance with a fascist party, BJP, my answer will be no comments. If he snaps his ties with the BJP, which is failing to even give him due respect, then we will publicly state our stand".

He, however, hastened to add "we would like Nitish Kumar to take a decision with regard to his alliance with BJP, by his own wisdom and not because of persuasion by the Congress or any other party. I believe he has the political sagacity to do so".

Asked about Kumars absence at the International Yoga Day celebrations, the Congress leader said "this shows that the BJP is treating Yoga not as a sadhana but a nautanki
(farce). It is unable to convince its own allies that it is doing a proper thing".

The Congress leader also backed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees statement wherein she had called BJP a "militant organization" and said "it is a party which cares neither for Hindus nor for people belonging to any other community. It is simply obsessed with its own vote bank".


Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 09:51 AM

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