Tejashwi Yadav slams NITI Aayog chief for calling Bihar 'backward', blames Nitish Kumar

 NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday said that the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are keeping India backward.

Tejashwi Yadav slams NITI Aayog chief for calling Bihar 'backward', blames Nitish Kumar

Patna: RJD leader and former Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday slammed NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant's statement blaming Bihar for India's backwardness, saying the remark has exposed the mindset of 'babus' in the Modi-led government.

"Bihar and Bihari's pay equal taxes, contribute equally or more in governance and nation-building. Bihar gave 33 MPs to NDA, seven union ministers from Bihar, both state and Central governments are of same party and alliance. But still these babus say Bihar is backward," he tweeted.

Tejashwi who is the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, further said that if Bihar was backward especially on social indicators as claimed by Kant, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should grant a special category status to the state for its development.

"PM Modi has failed to grant special category status or special packages promised by him. Four years have passed, but nothing has happened so far, except 'jumlas'," he said.

While delivering the first Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Memorial Lecture in Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kant had said, "Eastern part of India particularly states like Bihar, UP, Chattisgarh, MP, and Rajasthan are keeping India backward especially on social indicators. While we have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backward on human development index."

He had further said that India was still 131 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI). Kant had said that the part of southern and western India was doing well and growing speedily. "And when the country`s HDI has to improve and we have to focus on these social indicators. We are working on these things through Aspirational Districts Programme," he had said.

Later Kant had clarified tweeting:

Stressing upon the significance of sustainable growth, the NITI Aayog CEO had added, "Education and health are vital and in these two areas India is lagging behind. Our learning outcomes are poor - a class 5 student is not able to do class 2 subtractions. Class 5 student is not able to read his mother tongue. Infant mortality rates are very high. Unless we improve on these aspects, it will be difficult to grow in a consistent way."

He had also encouraged women to participate in decision-making process. "There must be a conscious effort to frame policies to give women opportunities," Kant had said.

(With IANS and ANI inputs)