The Congress in Bihar on Wednesday termed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s demand for special category status as “contradictory” and said the JD(U) rally in Delhi on March 17 in this regard is “politically motivated” with an eye on 2014 polls.
“On the one hand, CM is talking about astounding growth rate of Bihar and on the other hand, the fact emerging from ground is that poverty is rising in the state...the two are contradictory,” Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh told reporters outside the Assembly.
Mr. Singh, a former Speaker and state minister, alleged that Kumar was trying to confuse masses (about high growth rate) with the help of “heap of papers” and “lengthy talks“.
“Truth is that some development has taken place in Bihar due to Centre providing liberal funds to the state and some enterprising farmers achieving record breaking production of paddy and potatoes...state government has not even added one MW of power in the last seven years,” the eight term MLA from Kahalgaon (where NTPC power plant is located) in Bhagalpur, said.
The senior Congress leader backed the opinion of economist Swaminathan.S.Anklesaria Aiyer that Bihar which has registered high growth rate, could no longer claim to be a backward state and according to him it did not qualify for special category status.
Addressing a lecture here yesterday, organised by ADRI, which was attended by the CM, Aiyer had reportedly said you do not give steroids to a champion athlete.
“Mr. Aiyer is right in saying so...if you (CM) claim Bihar is growing so fast than why he is making hue and cry for special category status,” the Congress leader said.
Mr. Singh said the Congress-led UPA was pumping in a lot of funds by way of NREGA, roads and raising annual budget to Rs 34,000 crore for 2013-14 and other schemes in which state’s share is not more than 20 per cent.
On the March 17 JD (U) rally in Delhi, Mr. Singh said “It’s a political rally with an eye to 2014 Parliamentary elections and it also aims to shield failure of NDA rule in Bihar.”