Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi by ridiculing the Rs 1.25 lakh crore package offered by him and accused him of harbouring “contempt” for those seeking their rights from the Centre. Taking on Modi, he said the way the prime minister announced the package made it look like that an auction of Bihar was being held and bids being made as he accused him of behaving in a way which went against “cooperative federalism”, a pet theme Modi.
“On the one hand he says I was a ‘yachak’ (somebody pleading) and on the other hand he accuses me of having arrogance. It’s very contradictory. I am willing to plead with the Centre for the cause of Bihar. He is the prime minister and can say whatever he wishes.
“He talks of cooperative federalism and acts contrary to it. He will humiliate the state government, call it incompetent… What kind of cooperative federalism is this?” Kumar wondered at press conference where he sought to pick holes in Modi’s package.
Citing several projects which find a mention in the details of special package put out by the Centre after Modi’s announcement, Kumar said proposals for many of them were already pending with Delhi and many others were already committed by the central dispensation.
“There is nothing new. They had to give it. They are not doing any favour. What is new?” he asked. “The way he spoke shows that he has a feeling of contempt. It seemed as if bids were being made for Bihar. Who is arrogant?” the chief minister asked.
Firing fresh salvo at the prime minister over his dig at him over Bihar’s ‘bimaru’ status, Kumar sought to know if all the states given special packages in the past were ‘bimaru’. “Instead of patting on the back of those who are doing good work, they are being mocked at,” he said, adding that Bihar has done well on all development parameters during his tenure.
Modi had ridiculed Kumar earlier in the day for his pleading with the previous UPA government for a mere Rs 12,000 cr, saying he had put the state’s prestige at stake for political benefits.