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Bihar Sees Govt In Sync with Centre After 20 Yrs, Hopes of Special Status up

With Nitish Kumar taking oath along with Deputy CM Sushil Modi, hopes of getting a special status or fund for Bihar from Centre have gained ground.

Alok Kumar | News18dmalok

Updated:July 27, 2017, 3:15 PM IST
Bihar Sees Govt In Sync with Centre After 20 Yrs, Hopes of Special Status up
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his new deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.

Patna: After a long wait of 20 years, Bihar is being ruled by the same coalition as the Center. It all happened on Wednesday within a span of four hours with Nitish Kumar breaking ranks with RJD-Congress and siding with an old ally BJP.

With Nitish taking oath along with Deputy CM Sushil Modi, hopes of getting a special status or fund for Bihar from Centre have gained ground. The demand of special status is so dear to Nitish that he publicly announced during 2014 general elections, when he had already parted ways with the BJP, that his party was ready to extend support to any party which agrees to give special status to Bihar.

Prime Minister Modi had promised a special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for the state during election campaign in 2015.

Nitish raised this demand with PM Modi on various occasions during the last two and a half years. His latest appeal to Modi in this regard came on May 27 this year. In a three page letter to PM Modi, Nitish said even after achieving double digit growth in the past several years, Bihar is still behind the national average on major developmental parameters such poverty line, per capita income, industrialisation, as well as social and physical infrastructure.

“Awarding special category will ensure greater share in centrally sponsored schemes, which will put the state on the faster growth trajectory,” he wrote.

At that time, JDU had even alleged NDA government of ignoring their leader’s demand because Modi had personal grudge against Nitish. Now that political realities have changed and Nitish is a CM in alliance with the BJP, state bureaucracy is hopeful of special status from the Centre.

With PM Modi congratulating Nitish for his fight against corruption and BJP president Amit Shah saying that the alliance will take Bihar to newer heights, developmental agenda is likely to be the key focus.

This is the first time after 1998 that the same coalition is at the helm in the state and at the Center. During United Front government, led by HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujaral, Bihar was governed by Lalu’s party, which was a partner in the ruling coalition in Delhi.

Equations changed after NDA came to power under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. That was the beginning as after that changing political scenario always kept Bihar on a different path than that of the Center. When Nitish-led NDA came to power in Bihar in 2005, Congress-led UPA was at the helm at the Center.

Modi wave gave hopes of ending this mismatch but Nitish decided to ride against that wave and switched side with UPA, which won 2015 Assembly polls with a thumping majority.

Nitish has once again changed the political landscape in one stroke. It remains to be seen if this move will result in higher developmental funds for Bihar.

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| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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