Nitish to back any party over Bihar’s special status (Lead)

May 15th, 2009 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Patna, May 15 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced Friday that the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) would support any party in New Delhi that grants special status to his state for economic development.
“I am clear about extending support to any party or alliance that will grant the special category status to Bihar,” Nitish Kumar told reporters here after the release of the book ‘Special Category Status - A Case for Bihar’.

The book was endorsed by Nitish Kumar and released by renowned economist Lord Meghnad Desai.

The JD-U has been a crucial constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and rules Bihar in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

His remark is likely to trigger a renewed race among the NDA, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Third Front for his support in government formation.

In his speech before the book release, Nitish Kumar put forward a strong case for special category status for the state, which lags behind several states in economic development.

“Bihar deserves it and needs it,” he said.

Nitish Kumar recalled that soon after his government came to power over three years ago, he moved a resolution in this regard in the state legislature. The resolution was adopted unanimously and forwarded to the central government.

“We will support, in return for the interests of Bihar, whichever (party or alliance) forms the government after the results Saturday,” he said.

He pointed out, however, that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had refused to give Bihar special status despite repeated requests.

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