Darbhanga: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday accused Congress of having applied `a sudden brake` on grant of special category status to the state under the influence of its `natural ally`, apparently hinting at RJD.
"Things were moving in right direction for grant of special category status to Bihar ... But all of a sudden the Congress-led Centre started applying the brake under influence of its natural political ally," Kumar said in an apparent reference to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) while addressing a JD(U)`s `Sankalp rally`.
"The special status demand was based on economic needs. Why did Congress stall it on political consideration?" Kumar asked.
He said RJD views on special category status were always negative and after confabulations between it and Congress for 2014 polls started, the issue was `put on the back burner`.
He said that Union Finance Minister P Chidamabaram was very positive about Bihar`s demand for special status to spur economic growth. "Why was then the meeting of Finance Secretary on the subject put on hold?"
With JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav, his state counterpart Bashistha Narayan Singh and film-maker Prakash Jha sharing the dais with him, Kumar asked the people to give all 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state to JD(U) so that none could dare dilly-dally on the special category state issue. In an apparent dig at his rival Lalu Prasad, Kumar said "A gentleman politician who returned from jail after getting bail from Supreme Court portrayed as id he had gone behind bars in some freedom struggle movement."
Stating that efforts were being made to vitiate the atmosphere in the state again, he asked people not to allow return of days when it was impossible to venture out of home after sunset for fear of kidnap and murder.
"Fear has now gone out of mind ... Do not allow return of those bad days," he said.
Kumar also hit out at the BJP saying it betrayed the people.
"They knew I and JD(U) will never tolerate a divisive leader and controversial issues were omitted for formation of NDA ... The day we felt the same has returned JD(U) decided to part company on the ground of principles," he said.
Praising the Chief Minister for development in Bihar, Sharad Yadav said that communal forces were trying to create a wedge in society and asked people to defeat them.
Film-maker Prakash Jha highlighted the government`s pioneering initiative in the field of women`s education through cycle yojna and grant of scholarship.