Jaitely, Nitish attack PM; dare him for debate on fund use

PM Manmohan Singh came under attack for his remarks on utilisation of central assistance by Bihar.

Patna: BJP and JD-U leaders Sunday attacked
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his remarks on utilisation
of central assistance by Bihar, saying the funds are "not
Congress` property" and dared him to join a public debate
rather than adopting "hit-and-run" tactics.

"Yesterday, a remark was made that the central funds are
not being utilised properly in Bihar. The fund the central
government collects is taxpayers` money. That is not the
property of the Congress party," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said
at a press meet along with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here.

Accusing the Prime Minister of adopting "hit-and-run"
tactics and misleading people about central assistance to
Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dared him for an open
debate on these issues.

"I fully respect Manmohan Singh as PM and also leader of
the country, though it is a different matter that the former
treats another person (Sonia Gandhi) as his leader," the JD-U
leader remarked sarcastically while taking a swipe at Singh
for his statement.

Taking strong exception to Singh`s remarks that the Bihar
government had failed to fully implement centrally-sponsored
schemes but was taking credit for them, Jaitley said people
contribute to the central funds by giving taxes and it is the
right of every state to get its share.

"Injustice is being done to Bihar. The Prime Minister
should have analysed Bihar as an economist and not as a
politician," he said.

Addressing an election meeting in Bihar, the Prime
Minister had said that, "It is unfortunate to know that the
state government is taking credit for the schemes of the
Central government and their benefits are not reaching those

In a veiled attack on Kumar, the Prime Minister had said
that there are people who project a secular image but hitch up
with divisive forces.

Referring to Singh`s charge that the NDA government
had failed to discharge its responsibilities for utilisation
of the assistance worth Rs 1000 crore provided by the Centre
since 2004, the Chief Minister said, "There is no substance in


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