‘Will support anyone who backs special status for Bihar'



Zeenews Bureau

Patna: Trinamool Congress’ decision to withdraw support to the UPA government has provided a golden opportunity to regional political players to indulge in the bargain game in lieu of their support to the Congress-led ruling coalition at the centre.

Fuelling a speculation that all is not well within National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that his party will support anyone who promises to grant a special status to his state.

"Whoever supports special status for Bihar, we will support them at the centre," JD-U leader was quoted as saying.

Bihar Chief Minister said that Bihar, which has 40 Lok Sabha seats, will play a lead role in deciding who comes to power next.

At present, his Janta Dal (United ) has 22 Lok Sabha MPs and governs Bihar in partnership with the BJP.

His statement comes several months after the centre rejected the 'special status' tag for Bihar which would entitle the state to large loans, major tax concessions, financial packages, infrastructure development, and a concerted effort by the centre to boost private investment in Bihar.

The JD-U leader alleges that when Bihar was bifurcated in 2000, it lost a significant part of its natural resources to the newly carved state of Jharkhand. In retaliation to the Centre's refusal, Kumar began his Adhikar Yatra (Rights March) from Bettaih in West Champaran district today.

It will culminate on November 4 with a rally in Patna.

Expressing his displeasure on attempts to project Gujarat’s hardline Chief Minister Narendra Modi as NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, Nitish has earlier warned to quit the BJP-led alliance.