The BJP on Monday accused the UPA government of leading the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government “up the garden path” so far as granting special category status to the State was concerned.

In a statement, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley accused the UPA of not fulfilling its promise to Bihar and took a dig at Mr. Kumar for “falling for the Centre’s false assurance.”

“The Congress, in the last two years, has held an olive branch to the Janata Dal (United) that it is willing to consider special category status for Bihar. In the 2013 general budget speech, the Finance Minister had, in fact, indicated that the government would constitute a committee in order to favourably consider granting of special category status to Bihar. This assurance was more political than based on the economic necessities of Bihar. The intention of the UPA was to lead the JD(U) up the garden path that the special category status to Bihar was indeed coming,” he said.

Mr. Jaitley hinted that the talk of special status was initiated around the same time as the BJP-JD(U) split. “I do not know how the astute leadership of the JD(U) fell for this. Coincidentally, the signalling towards this special category status started at the same time when the JD(U)-BJP alliance split,” he said.

Commenting on the recent speculation about a Congress-RJD tie-up in the State, Mr. Jaitley said: “Simultaneously, in the Swayamvar [choosing a partner from among a list of suitors] between the RJD and the JD(U), the Congress preferred its old ally.”

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