Barely nine months after he broke away from the erstwhile ruling Grand Alliance to form his new government with the BJP, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has got hugely annoyed with the saffron partner and looks set to chart out his new course of action “very soon”.
A clear hint of this came on Thursday when the JD-U openly charged the NDA government at the centre with meting out gross “injustice” to the state which was promised the Special category status by none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
“The NDA government at the Centre is not doing justice with Bihar. We won’t even hesitate from taking a major political decision in the better interest of the state,” a senior JD-U leader Sanjay Jha told the media on Thursday.
He said the demand for granting Special category status to Bihar had been the key issue of the JD-U and the party was not going to drag its feet over the issue.
“Our campaign will continue until our long-pending demand is met,” Jha who is considered very close to the chief minister added. This is the third time in a week that the JD-U has questioned the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for “ignoring” the interests of Bihar.
Last week, the JD-U revived this demand with extra vigour at a meeting of all political parties, and was able to garner support from even the opposition, much to the amazement of the BJP.
“What is our fault? What crime we have committed? The Centre has no proper attention towards Bihar,” senior JD-U leader and Rajya Sabha Member RCP Singh, considered close to the chief minister, had told a meeting convened by the Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), in Patna on Saturday.
“Clearly, injustice is being done to Bihar. We wonder why no commitment is being made for Bihar, as is being done for Andhra Pradesh. Bihar’s need for greater help is much more than the southern state,” Singh wondered.
He had also hit out at the Centre for allegedly overlooking Raghuram Rajan committee report that earlier had recommended for giving priority to the backward states in granting special package and special status.
The chief minister Kumar himself has been raising the issue at his public meeting after remaining for months. “Although the state is on the development path due its own resources, it needs to be given Special category status to spur further growth and prosperity,” Kumar told a function in his home district of Nalanda on 30 April.
Not only that, the JD-U has even vociferously opposed the three controversial issues of its ally which include banning triple talaq, introduction of Uniform Civil Code and abrogation of Article 370 which confers special status on Jammu and Kashmir, besides disapproving of its “divisive” politics, amply indicating the growing tension between the two partners.