UPA to benefit if Bihar gets special state status: Nitish Kumar

Narendra Modi won`t be an issue in Bihar in the next Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said.

New Delhi: Narendra Modi won`t be an issue in Bihar in the next Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said while refusing to be drawn into a discussion on Gujarat versus Bihar models of development.

Kumar, whose party walked out of the NDA in June breaking a 17-year-old alliance with BJP, also said the UPA stands to benefit if the Centre grants special state status to Bihar.

He, however, evaded a direct question on whether his party will support a Congress-led government from outside in 2014 saying it was "hypothetical".

"We never discuss persons. But the one whom you are referring to will not be an issue in Bihar. In Bihar, the issues during the elections will be development... You will be relieved when the results are out," he said in reply to a question on Modi factor in the next Lok Sabha polls.

During an hour-long discussion on a TV channel, Kumar also said the country can be run only a person, who takes all sections together though "some people keep day dreaming".

Without naming Modi or Gujarat, he also said coastal areas always have the possibility for development and hence it needs to be seen who progressed from where and that Bihar is land-locked unlike those states, which have huge coastal areas that attract industries.

Making a strong pitch for special status to Bihar, he said that this will "determine the future course of politics".

Asked whether he would support a BJP government led by Modi in 2014 if it promised special status to Bihar, Kumar quipped, "The demand is from the present government at Centre. Right now it is the UPA, which is in a position to grant special status."

He also said that the issue can also lead to the coming together of eastern states of West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar but "if those sitting at the Centre take step towards it, they stand to gain from it".

"Our appeal is to the government of the day. If it does not happen, then we will urge people from Bihar to give us enough power to achieve this on our own," he said alluding to the possibilities of new political realignments.


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