Congress denied Bihar special category status: Nitish Kumar

Patna, Feb 3: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday said the Congress party prevented his state being accorded special category status following pressure from its alliance partners.

“Congress stopped the special category status to Bihar at the last moment,” Nitish Kumar told media persons here.

He said the Congress was behind the game to delay and deny the state its demand for special category status to keep its allies happy in Bihar as part of the politics ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

By attacking the Congress, Nitish Kumar made it clear that his party, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), harboured no hopes of an alliance with the former as it was widely speculated for months after the chief minister dumped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Nitish Kumar has repeatedly declared that he would support a party that would grant special category status to Bihar.

“But we (JD-U) will not sit silent and it will be a major issue in the elections,” Nitish Kumar said.

Last year, the Raghuram Rajan Committee report identified Bihar as one of the “least developed”.

Nitish Kumar has made it clear again that he and his party have been trying for unity among like-minded parties, particularly non-Congress and non-BJP ones. “We have already begun work for an alternative political formation with non-Congress and non-BJP parties,” he said.

“Total unity among them is not possible as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has strong reservations with Left parties and the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati has a similar situation with the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

He said it is difficult to say what shape this unity among non-Congress and non-BJP parties will take before the polls.

IANS