The Rashtriya Janata Dal on Thursday threatened to hit the streets if Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar does not demand a special category status for the state, PTI reported. The party praised Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu for making such a demand for his state and said Bihar should “speak up”, too.
Earlier on Thursday, two lawmakers of Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party resigned from the Union Cabinet, though the party has not quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance. The resignations came after weeks of protests by the party, demanding a special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
“We salute Chandrababu Naidu for showing the courage to stick to the stand he took,” RJD Spokesperson Manoj Jha said. “The effect of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was similar to the impact of the bifurcation of Bihar [in 2000]. But there appears to be a big difference between the chief ministers of the two states.”
Nitish Kumar had also demanded a special category status for Bihar in the past, but has not made any such demand lately. Jha accused him of being inconsistent in his promises and actions. Kumar has been in “mortal fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah” since he joined the NDA, he claimed.
The RJD was part of a Grand Alliance with the Janata Dal (United) and Congress that ruled Bihar until August 2017, when Kumar and his party broke away from the grouping and joined hands with the BJP to retain power. Since then, the RJD has made frequent attacks and taunts at the chief minister.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said he had written to Kumar on February 5, urging him to demand special category status for Bihar from the Centre. “But he did not even reply to my letter,” he told News18. “If Bihar’s demand is not met, he should resign and pull out from the NDA.”
Meanwhile, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who hails from Bihar, said the state had got a “special package, which is monetarily as beneficial as a special status”. “But despite this, some people aren’t satisfied,” he told ANI.