Patna: In an indirect dig at his friend-turned foe BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, faced with communal clashes in three Bihar towns, on Monday said that efforts were on to create an "environment of intolerance" in the state.
"Efforts are on to create an environment of intolerance in Bihar, but that will be dealt with severely," Kumar told reporters while deliberating on the communal clashes that had flared up in Nawada, Bettiah and Bagha.
"I have directed Chief Secretary AK Sinha and state police chief Abhyanand to deal with the situation sternly," he said emerging from the "Janata ke Darbar mein Mukhya Mantri" programme at his residence.
Without naming the BJP, he said that some political elements were trying to harness political benefits from communal clashes in the three places.
"But, nobody will be allowed to arouse communal passion for political benefits," he said.
Saying "this is not the time for doing politics", he appealed to all political parties to show solidarity and help establish peace in these places.
To a question on the chance of Bihar getting a special category status, Kumar said the committee under Chief Economic Advisor to government Raghuram Rajan is deliberating on deciding new criteria for deciding backwardness of a state.
"We are waiting eagerly for a favourable decision, but if this does not happen, I have already announced that my party will intensify the struggle to achieve it," Kumar said.
In reply to a question if his meeting with state Governor DY Patil yesterday concerned expansion of the Cabinet soon, Kumar merely said media would be informed if it took place.
Kumar trashed the opposition charge that law and order had taken a nosedive after the BJP and the JD(U) severed ties with each other and said a detailed statement to this effect was given in the state Assembly during the monsoon session.