JD(U) Pushes For Bihar's Special Status Amid RJD's Demands

JD(U) Pushes For Bihar's Special Status Amid RJD's Demands

The RJD would not settle for anything less than both special status and a special package for Bihar, said the party’s national spokesperson and MP, Manoj Jha, in a sharp attack on the JD(U) led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Dheeraj KumarUpdated: Monday, July 01, 2024, 11:34 AM IST
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Nitish Kumar | File

Patna: The Janata Dal (United), or JD(U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) engaged in a verbal duel on Sunday, a day after the former passed a resolution demanding “special status” or “special package” for Bihar from the Centre.

Manoj Jha's Views

The RJD would not settle for anything less than both special status and a special package for Bihar, said the party’s national spokesperson and MP, Manoj Jha, in a sharp attack on the JD(U) led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Bihar needs both special status and a special package. While a special status is required for the state’s long-term growth, a special package is needed to attract investments. It is unfortunate we are compromising on it and are ready to contend with only a special package,” Jha said.

“The Finance Commission should change the parameters according to special status to Bihar and the JD(U), which is a part of the government, should exert pressure on the Centre,” he said.

Injustice will be done to the state if the long-standing demand for special status is sacrificed on the altar of ‘or’, the RJD leader remarked, referring to the JD(U) demanding special status or a special package at its national executive meeting in New Delhi on Saturday.

“It is the best time when Bihar can be accorded special status as Nitish Kumar has a major role in providing stability to the present dispensation at the Centre. He is only misleading the people on the issue of special status,” said RJD leader Chitranjan Gagan.

JD(U) National Spokesperson KC Tyagi Rejects RJD's Allegations

However, JD(U) national spokesperson KC Tyagi rejected the RJD’s allegations and said his party had not diluted the issue at all.

“If we get a special package equivalent to what Bihar would have received as a special category state, where is the problem in such a situation? There is no confusion,” he said.

The government led by Nitish Kumar should clarify what special package it was demanding from the Centre, providing details of the funds it needs for various sectors, said Pushependra Kumar Singh, a former professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. “

These issues are being raised in view of the upcoming Assembly election. Nitish Kumar lacks the political will to demand more and will have to contend with whatever ‘concessions’ the Centre gives him,” Kumar said.

The JD(U) leader, by appointing Sanjay Jha as the party’s working president, also wants to concentrate on backchannel talks with Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) central leadership.

"We should not forget that he is apprehensive of poaching attempts by the BJP even if he has shown that he is still relevant in the state politics by winning 12 out of 16 seats the party contested in the Lok Sabha election,” he said.

Union Minister Chirag Paswan Extends His Support To The Demand

Meanwhile, Union Minister and LJP (RV) chief Chirag Paswan extended his party’s support to the demand and contended that it should not be viewed as ‘pressure politics’.

“Our party is in support of Bihar being accorded special status. Which political party will not want Bihar to get the special status? It should not be considered as pressure politics but it is our demand that Bihar should be accorded special status,” he said.

“We are in the NDA government at the Centre. The BJP is the largest party in the alliance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is our leader and we all have faith in him. If we do not put forward our demand before him, whom will we will demand from?” he asked.

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