Indian state government accused of trying to cover up failures
Former Bihar, India Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra has launched an offensive against the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) government in Bihar, saying it is raising the issue of “special status” to the state not for development, but to cover up its failures.
“The government only wants to cover up its failures and gain political mileage from the issue,” Mishra told thestatesman.com soon after the JD-U government announced the issue of special status to the state as its poll agenda for the coming state assembly elections recently.
Questioning the JD-U’s move, Mishra asked, “Is the development of Bihar solely dependent on special status? How did the state grow 12 percent during 2011-12 without any special status? Which is more crucial — development of the state or indulging in politics over it,”
Also, alleging the JD-U government of not utilizing funds for the development of rural areas in the state, Mishra said, “This shows that the real objective of getting special status is not development.”
Mishra, also a core committee member of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM-S) led by former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, feels that it is unwise on the part of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to have an alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
“Today, Nitish is making an issue over special status, he should explain why did the Congress party, which was in power for 10 years, did not do the needful,” he questioned, adding, “He formed the coalition with a party that did not accede to the demand of the people for 10 years, and they are putting the blame on the NDA government, which is only 15 months old,”
Meanwhile, Mishra lauded its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) stand on the development front, saying, “Bihar needed special economic package for development and the National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) government is committed to provide that.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself promised a special economic package of more than 500 billion ruppes (US$7 billion) and an industrial concession of 15 percent and tax rebate of 15 percent on investment in Bihar at the Muzaffarpur rally,” Mishra added.
Questioning the chief minister’s “silence” on Raghuram Rajan report, the HAM leader said, “Why doesn’t Nitish speak up about the report of the committee formed during the Congress rule?” He said, “The committee had said that the needs of the states under special category should be met through fresh allocation and the special status be done away with.”
Alleging the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress of playing double standards with the state, Mishra said, “When Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, it was agreed that state would get a special package. But the Congress-led UPA government did not even release any fund for it in 10 years.”
“Why doesn’t Nitish speak about this ever,” he said on a closing note.