New Delhi, March 18: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today brought his state’s fight for special status to the Capital, holding a rally with thousands of supporters and signalling that no political combination should think of ruling Delhi after the 2014 elections if it ignored Bihar’s rights.
"Give Bihar special status now, else after 2014 you will have to give it for sure. Only those will be allowed to rule Delhi who take care of the backward areas," Mr Kumar told an energetic crowd of an estimated 50,000 people at his Adhikar rally on the Ramlila grounds.
Lok Sabha elections are due only next year, but the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) leader’s statement appears to be sensitive to the political scenario that may emerge after the 2014 polls. The JD(U) is a key member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, but is averse to Narendra Modi, whom many in the BJP have been pitching as the coalition’s ideal prime ministerial candidate.
The JD(U), which did not invite the BJP for today’s rally, has in the past threatened to walk out of the NDA if Mr Modi is made the prime ministerial candidate. Speculation about the JD(U) warming up to the Congress has also been in the air often.
Mr Kumar said Bihar has been treated unfairly by successive union governments and the time has come to give the state its dues. "Bihar is way below the national average in all development indices, such as roads, power, railways and per capita income. Don’t the people of Bihar have the right to a better life?" he asked.