Special status demand to be a major poll issue for JD(U) in Bihar

Seeking to revive the special status demand as its trump card for the Assembly polls next year, JD(U) on Thursday decided to hold dharna at all the district headquarters on October 20 to pressurise the Centre to grant the status to Bihar.

Patna: Seeking to revive the special status demand as its trump card for the Assembly polls next year, JD(U) on Thursday decided to hold dharna at all the district headquarters on October 20 to pressurise the Centre to grant the status to Bihar.

JD(U) would launch a series of programmes in the run up to the Assembly polls next year with the special status demand being the cornerstone of its political and electoral agenda, JD(U) state president Bashistha Narayan Singh said.

Besides, the party would also highlight the alleged discrimination against the state by the NDA government at the Centre, Singh told reporters after a party meeting presided over by former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to pay off debt to the people of Bihar on being elected to power, but he seemed to have forgotten his words, Singh said, adding his government also significantly cut funds meant for development and welfare.

"The Centre is supposed to take care of the interests of all states, but the NDA government has been acting against the spirit of the Constitution. Bihar has suffered the most in terms of reduction of grants under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, MGNREGA, Indira Awas Yojana and other central programmes without reason," he said.

By raising the special status issue, the ruling party would seek to remind the Prime Minister of the 'achhe din' that he had promised to the people of the country, Singh said.

He said Nitish Kumar would also set out on a tour of the the state the dates for which would be decided later.

On senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi's stand that the Jitan Ram Manjhi government did not enjoy the mandate or legitimacy to seek special status, Singh said Modi himself had favoured grant of special status to Bihar when he was the Deputy Chief Minister.

BJP were part of the resolution adopted by the two Houses of the state legislature to press for special status demand eight years ago, he said.

Earlier, Nitish Kumar spoke for over an hour at the meeting of all party office bearers at his residence.

Kumar asked JD(U) officer bearers to publicise the state government's performance and propagate the ruling party's ideology and agenda among the people, a JD(U) spokesman said.

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