Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Thursday said his call for a shutdown in Bihar March 2 is in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology, adding that it will be a daylong ‘Satyagraha’ to protest the denial of special category status to his state.

“Our call for bandh is a daylong Satyagraha in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology to protest against denial of special category status to Bihar,” Nitish Kumar said at a press conference here.

He said the shutdown will be a peaceful protest.

Nitish Kumar appealed to all the people and all political parties of Bihar to support the shutdown. He also urged people to boycott their work to join the “bandh” to show their solidarity with the cause of the state.

The chief minister said people will participate in ‘thali’ beating March 1 late evening in support of the state shutdown the following day.

The Janata Dal-United leader accused the central government of deliberately denying the special category status to Bihar. “It was a betrayal of the people of Bihar by the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government,” he said.

He reminded people that Bihar was denied special status despite a demand for it for long, but Seemandhara — the residual state of Andhra Pradesh — was granted the same within days of parliamentary turmoil over Telangana.

“It is a clear cut case of injustice to Bihar. It is very unfortunate.”

He said the special status was essential for the development of an economically backward state like Bihar. “We will take the special status one day,” he reiterated.

Nitish Kumar said the process to grant the status appeared to have got derailed under the influence of the Rashtriya Janata Dal — likely ally of the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The Left parties — Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India-Marxist — have extended their support to the shutdown.

Annoucing another march on the same issue, Nitish Kumar said: “I will launch Sankalp Yatra from Champaran district March 5.”

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal