New Delhi, March 8: Now, another Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally Janata Dal United (JD-U) has joined the wagon demanding special category status for Bihar. The demand has earlier been raised by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar several times.
Backing the Narendra Modi government, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said a special package was given to Bihar. “Nitish’s government has been demanding Bihar’s special status for long and we’ve got a special package which is monetarily as beneficial as special status. But, despite this some people aren’t satisfied and to them I will just say that India can only grow in NDA’s regime,” Paswan said.
For special category status category states, the Centre meets 90 per cent of the funds required in a centrally-sponsored scheme as against 60 per cent in case of normal category states. The remaining funds are provided by the state governments.
The demand gained momentum after Telugu Desam Party decided that its MPs Ashok Gajapati Raju and YS Chowdary will quit the Narendra Modi government after it failed to fulfill its promise of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh. While Raju is the civil aviation minister, Chowdary is the minister of state for science and technology.
In the late night drama on Wednesday, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said that the TDP has decided to pull out of the Modi government but the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party would remain intact.
“It is not a good move but unfortunately due to unavoidable circumstances we’re stepping down as ministers. Our President (Chandrababu Naidu) said that we will continue to be a partner of NDA. We are most likely to meet the Prime Minister also,” Chowdary said. (Also read: Will Give Monetary Equivalent of Special Status to Andhra Pradesh: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley)
— ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2018
Naidu’s announcement came barely hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that funds equivalent to what a special category state receives would be extended to Andhra Pradesh, but drew a line saying politics cannot increase the quantum of money.
The TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha. It is to be seen whether the TDP would snap ties with the BJP in the coming days over the demand or not.