Nitish demand aimed at being in PM race: Paswan

LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s demand for special category status to Bihar was aimed at mobilising mass support to strengthen his case for being projected as NDA`s prime ministerial candidate.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2012, 17:41 PM IST

Patna: LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan on Monday said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s demand for special category status to Bihar was aimed at mobilising mass support to strengthen his case for being projected as NDA`s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 general elections.

"It (the demand) is an open secret...It is part of a larger game plan (by Nitish Kumar) to see himself as a front runner for NDA`s prime ministerial candidate that Kumar has conceived the special status issue and set out on `Adhikar yatra` on September 19 to woo the masses to elect his candidates in the next general elections," Paswan said.

He criticised Kumar for his alleged inconsistent stand on the special status issue and said he had opposed the demand when it was raised by RJD-led government after bifurcation of Bihar in 2000.

Kumar, who was then serving as railway minister in the erstwhile NDA government at the Centre, had opposed the special status demand on the ground that there was no need for it and the special package given then would be sufficient to address the development deficit in Bihar, he said.

The Lok Janshakti Party chief demanded a debate in public on the special status issue. "Kumar will then stand exposed on the issue," he said.

He urged Congress, RJD and CPI(M) to expose Kumar`s inconsistent stand on the special status issue to the people and his political game plan behind his state-wide tour to solicit public support for his demand.

LJP would launch a state-wide campaign after Diwali to expose Kumar`s "hidden" political agenda and "double standards," he said.

PTI