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 thes­tates­ 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.

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