Shoumojit Banerjee

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday urged Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to stop communicating with the naxals via the media.

“I appeal to Mr. Chidambaram not to talk to the ultras through newspapers. It is ridiculous to hold talks on such a grave issue via mobile phones and SMS.” he said.

“We have only 23 Central Reserve Police Force companies stationed in Bihar. The Centre has not responded to our demand for more battalions. On the contrary, it talks of withdrawing even these,” Mr. Kumar said.

He said he was forced to form the State Auxiliary Police (SAP) because of the Centre's indifference.

“People in backward belts can be brought into the mainstream only if implementation of ground-level schemes is corruption-free.”

“Utterly baseless”

Speaking at the Janata Dal (United) State executive meeting here, the Chief Minister once again refuted rumours of his party breaking up over his support for the Women's Reservation Bill.

“Rumours about the JD(U) breaking away from the BJP and joining the Congress are utterly baseless media speculation, which is best ignored,” he said.

“Yes, there is an honest difference in our thought processes, which I have never hidden from the public. Our party functions within a democratic set-up where everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. So, let us agree to disagree.” The JD(U) was a truly secular party that accommodated people from every caste, creed and religion.

Mr. Kumar said he was in touch with members opposing the women's Bill in its present form.

Hitting out at the Union government for repeatedly ignoring Bihar's request for “Special Category” status, the Chief Minister said the State was merely demanding its rights, and not charity money.