With its fair share of sops, Bihar should ideally not have any complaint with this year’s Union Budget. After all, Gaya will be developed as a world class tourist hub, Patna’s riverfront will get a facelift, and Bhagalpur will evolve as one of the six textile megaclusters in the country.
Besides, the state will have the coveted Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
These announcements made in the Union Budget should have brought cheers to the people in the state, but that was not the case.
Most people expressed dismay that Bihar did not get any special status category or a special package to accelerate development.
The ruling JD(U) and associate parties went to the extent of calling the Budget disappointing for Bihar.
Former chief minister Nitish Kumar accused the Modi government of not fulfiling their promise of giving a special package to Bihar.
During his tenure, Nitish had launched an aggressive campaign to seek special category status for Bihar to help it catch up with the developed states. He had argued that India would not prosper unless all parts of the country had equitable growth.
During the election campaigns, Modi had announced that Bihar would get special package if the NDA was voted to power.
Though he stopped short of promising special category status, he had reiterated all the time his government would do everything possible to ensure Bihar’s growth. That is why it came as a big disappointment to many that the first Union Budget of the NDA government made no mention of any special category or package for Bihar.
It also set off speculations about the probable reasons behind it. Did the Modi government not have enough time to study Bihar’s long-pending demand, or was it deliberately done for sheer political reasons?
Under such circumstances, it is believed the Modi government deliberately held back any package for Bihar at this juncture to prevent Nitish from walking away with the credit.
With Assembly elections only 15 months away, it would have been detrimental to the BJP’s cause in Bihar.
After all, JD(U) leaders would have claimed the special package was the outcome of the campaign by Nitish. For BJP in the state, it may well be a better idea if the Centre doles out a special package for Bihar next year when the polls are due.
By that time, it might hope to get ample time to convince the voters that it was Modi, not Nitish, who had fulfiled the aspirations of the people of Bihar.
Courtesy: Mail Today