Nitish takes on UPA again over spl category

Nitish takes on UPA again over spl category

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday accused the Congress-led UPA government of meting out stepmotherly treatment to Bihar on the issue of granting special-category status.

“If it can give special-category status to Seemandhra within 24 hours, that too when nobody had asked for it, why can’t the UPA government grant special status to Bihar, for which we have waged a long battle since 2005?” said Nitish.

The Janata Dal-United strongman was staging a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the state capital. His protest was part of the Bihar bandh call on Sunday.

Earlier, Nitish, along with his ministerial colleagues and party leaders, walked down from his official residence to Gandhi Maidan—a distance of nearly 5 km—on foot and staged the dharna from 11 am to 5 pm.

Elsewhere in Bihar, the bandh evoked mixed response.   “What’s the point in calling a bandh on Sunday, when 90 per cent of the shops, educational institutions and offices remain closed?” asked Lalu, taking a swipe at Nitish’s decision to call for bandh on a holiday.

But  Nitish made the issue an emotional one, asking the gathering at the dharna: “If Sonia Gandhi can urge the prime minister to grant special-category status to Seemandhra, and it is done within 24 hours, why neglect Bihar, which has been clamouring for it for so long? Is the state on their (UPA) agenda? Ya sirf chunav ke samay yaad aata hai Bihar ke 40 seats? (Or are they reminded of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats only during elections?)”

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