Patna: On the eve of Bihar bandh called by ruling JD(U), Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today led his cabinet colleagues and party activists in beating utensils to protest against the Centre denying special category status to the state on the lines of the one given to Seemandhra.
Kumar beat a metal plate with a small hammer outside his official One Anne Marg residence for five minutes from 7 pm.
Several ministers like Vijay Chaudhary and Shyam Rajak, state JD(U) state President Basistha Narayan Singh joined Kumar in beating the utensil at his home. Economist Saibal Gupta, who represented Bihar in Raghuram Rajan committee for redefining backwardness, was also there.
Kumar said beating of utensils was aimed at sending a voice of protest to the central government.
Many people in villages and towns across Bihar also beat utensil outside their homes at that hour. JD(U) workers held “Prabhat pheri” in various parts of the state this morning in this regard.
Later, Kumar alleged UPA government “discriminated” against a poor and backward state like Bihar by denying it special category status.
“In accordance with Raghuram Rajan committee recommendations, Bihar is qualified for the status. But they put the matter into cold storage and accorded this to Seemandhra which even did not ask for it,” Kumar said.
“If they have respect for people’s voice, Bihar shall get the same special status as given to Seemandhra,” he said.
The utensil-beating programme is also to build momentum for tomorrow’s Bihar bandh called on the issue.
As per the programme tomorrow, Kumar will lead a protest march from his residence to the Gandhi Maidan in the morning where he will stage a sit-in under Mahatama Gandhi’s statue throughout the day.
Prabhat pheri, beating of utensils and bandh are chosen as part of the agitation on the lines of “civil disobedience movement” of Mahatama Gandhi against Britishers.
Kumar had recently said these had been successfully done during the JP movement against Congress “misrule” in 1974.
Kumar had said on several occasions that special category status to Bihar which would spur its development and would be the party’s plank for coming general elections.
JD(U)’s erstwhile ally BJP had organised a “rail roko” across Bihar yesterday with the same demand.