September 28, 2020

Special tag demand clash for allies

Patna: The recent spate of demands by the JDU for according special status to Bihar has created an interesting political situation in Bihar. The NDA camp has not been able to project a united voice.

While JDU leaders are speaking openly in support of this issue, the same is missing in the case of its alliance partner, the BJP which is keeping a low profile ever since the issue was raised. The BJP leaders gave a very interesting insight for not speaking vociferously on this issue despite the fact that the party had extended its unconditional support to the demand when a special debate had been organised in the state legislature.

“How can we speak on this issue when our party is heading the Union government?” a senior BJP leader confided while responding to a query.

He said the JDU had compulsions to raise the issue as the party had been raising it for quite some time and could not afford to keep mum at a time when Opposition parties (read the RJD and the Congress) are raking up the issue to put the NDA in discomfiture.

The BJP leader added that as the 15th Finance Commission had been formed and the states were supposed to put their points before it, the JDU was raising this issue hoping that the stand taken by the 14th Finance Commission against according special status to states could be reversed.

Another BJP leader, who is a minister in the Nitish Kumar government, on the other hand, termed the Opposition efforts to corner the NDA on the special status issue and maintained that the Opposition would gain nothing out of such gestures.

“At the end of the day, people want development. PM Narendra Modi and chief minister Nitish Kumar share a very good understanding on the development issue and they are coordinating with each other to script development of Bihar. Special status or no special status, Bihar is bound to make rapid strides and get special central assistance for this purpose,” said the BJP leader who cited the recent one-on-one meeting of the PM with Nitish in Delhi to substantiate his claim.

The JDU, however, does not appear to be in a mood to move even an inch behind its stand on the special status issue. “We have been pressing for the special status demand for long. We did it when the UPA was in power at the Centre, and are doing so when the NDA is there. Bihar does need this tag for catching up with developed states,” said JDU national general secretary Shyam Rajak. Without taking the BJP’s name, Rajak said: “All those who had supported the special status demand during a special debate in the state legislature six years ago should stick to their stand and join us in our efforts to get this tag for Bihar.”

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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