Patna: Responding to Narendra Modi's rallies in Bihar today, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday that the Prime Minister was full of contempt and acts contrary to the tenets of cooperative federalism.
“When PM Modi talked about the matter of BIMARU state, his attitude could be seen. PM Modi seems to be offended with our objection to Bihar being called a BIMARU state. He is full of contempt in his heart,” Nitish said, adding, “He talks about cooperative federalism and then acts opposite to that."
“For the development of Bihar, I am ready to seek help. But its strange that the PM calls me arrogant. I can't be applicant and arrogant at the same time,” he commented.
On PM's criticism of him, Nitish quipped, “Sometimes he calls me useless and what not, anyway he is the PM of India and has all the right to do so.”
Throwing an open challenge to PM Modi, Nitish said, "I will stay here. Ek Bihari sab pe bhari (One Bihari is enough for everyone)."
The Bihar CM categorically said that the state has progressed in a major way and once again refuted PM's assertions about the BIMARU tag..
“The development of Bihar and the way we have progressed is known to all. We constructed 5000 bridges in Bihar, school drop-out rates have decreased," he said, adding, “However, we have always demanded a special status for Bihar. This is our right. This will attract investors, which will lead to industrialization and employment.”
Further hinting at the PM, the Bihar CM said, “PM Modi cannot digest the fact that a non-BJP government is working for the development of Bihar.”
The Bihar CM also refused to accept the fact that the state had not spent the money given by the Centre.
“The PM alleged that we haven't spent money Centre sent to us. We have spent so much that the expenditure exceeds the funds now,” Nitish pointed out.
“Sometimes I feel shocked at the fact as to where does the PM get his datas from. PM Modi announced special package for the state as if it was an auction and he was bidding for Bihar. The PM asked the people to guess, 50,000 crore, 70,000 crore etc," Nitish said, and asked, “Are you in an auction? Are you bidding for Bihar?”
Addressing rallies in Arrah and Saharsa today, PM Modi today announced Rs 1.25 lakh crore economic package for poll-bound Bihar.
Addressing the 'Parivartan Rally' at Arrah, his third in Bihar in less than a month, Modi also joined issue with Kumar over Bihar's BIMARU (laggard) tag. The Chief Minister had rebutted Modi's claim made at a rally in Gaya earlier this month that Bihar was still laggard.
"Our Chief Minister was very angry when I promised that BJP will bring Bihar out of its BIMARU state. He said with authority that Bihar is no longer a BIMARU state. If it is true, then I will be the happiest person. I welcome this, the PM said, adding, “"I am surprised that on the one hand he says Bihar is not a BIMARU state and on the other he keeps asking for something or the other. Let the people of Bihar decide," Modi said, in an apparent jibe at Kumar's repeated insistence on an economic package from the Centre, as per PTI.
At the same time, the PM castigated the Bihar government for having failed to fully expend Rs 10,000 crore made available to it by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2003 following the state's bifurcation, and Rs 12,000 crore received from the UPA government in 2013.
(With PTI inputs)