New Delhi: As campaign for assembly polls in Bihar gains momentum, its Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday upped the ante against Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking why he did not fulfil the promise of giving special status to the state even as he accused the Centre of "crushing" federal structure in the country.
In his message to a conclave of Chief Ministers on Centre-State relations organised by the Delhi Government, Kumar said Modi was making "big announcements" for Bihar considering the polls but at the same time he was not heeding to problems of neighbouring states like Odisha and West Bengal.
"The Prime Minister had promised to give special status to Bihar but till date it has not been fulfilled. He is making big announcements for Bihar considering the elections but he is not even looking at problems of Odisha and Bengal," the Bihar Chief Minister said.
Kumar, who has been making light of Modi's announcement of a Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for Bihar also accused the Centre of "crushing" the federal structure by taking unilateral decisions on number of issues.
Giving an example, he said the Centre reduced its financial share in several important centrally-sponsored schemes without consulting the Chief Ministers which he said enormously added financial burden on the states.
"Before elections, BJP used to talk about federal structure but now the behaviour of the Centre is against cooperative federalism. The BJP-led Central Government has crushed the federal structure," the Chief Minister said in his message which was read out at the conclave.
Kumar, who is leading the grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress, also slammed the Centre for not convening meetings of the national Development Council which he said is the only "stage" where chief ministers present their views.
The Bihar Chief Minister proposed a detailed deliberations among the states after the Bihar polls.
"States will have to struggle together to make emotions of cooperative federalism stronger. How is this possible that wrong things happen with few states and there is no one to hear them out. It appears that there is no stage left for a dialogue with the Centre," he said.
Kumar also lambasted the Centre for not allowing the Kejriwal Government to work and posing "hurdles" for it. "I am with you (Kejriwal) on this issue," he said adding due to electioneering he could not attend the conclave.
The Delhi Government had invited all the Chief Ministers including those from BJP and Congress ruled states to the conference. But only West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar attended it.
Interestingly, Sarkar left immediately after his meeting with Kejriwal ended and did not address.