With Chief Minister Nitish Kumar making lack of special category status to Bihar a major poll issue, the BJP today said there was no mention of it in 14th Finance Commission recommendations and the Centre was giving the state much more than it could have got out of the status.
The Raghuram Rajan Committee recommendations during the UPA times, which the Chief Minister cites frequently as reference for special category status, did not feel its need in its recommendations, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters here.
"In the 14th Finance Commission report there is no mention of special category state, as a result of which the concept of special category status has ended," Sushil Modi, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said.
He, however, sought to highlight the Centre's initiatives towards Bihar.
"Due to amount of money the states are getting on the basis of 14th Finance Commission recommendations, there is no need for the special category status," he said.
"Under the special category status which would have lowered state's share in the central schemes, could have benefited Bihar by a sum of Rs 3,000-4,000 crore. But, due to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations Bihar would get Rs 8,000 crore out of central taxes in comparison to last year," he said.
Sushil said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced in his Budget speech about tax concessions to investors in Bihar as provided to Andhra Pradesh.
When asked that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar described lack of special category status to Bihar as a "betrayal" and a "cruel joke" with the people, the BJP leader said during his July 25 visit to Bihar Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he would provide the state a bigger package than the promised Rs 50,000 crore.
Sushil Modi charged Kumar with "spreading illusion" on the PM flagging off Patna-Mumbai Suvidha Express, that it would run only on demand from passengers.
"I had a talk with General Manager of East Central Railway (ECR) who said there were some difficulties initially but, from August 9 onwards it will run twice a week," he said.
In a reply to a question on Rabri Devi that she won't contest the elections but her two sons would, Sushil Modi said "Her husband Lalu Prasad cannot think beyond his family, so how can she think otherwise. For them family is foremost and have little care for people except for their votes."
Asked if he would contest the polls, he said "I will go by the decision of BJP Parliamentary Board on such issues."