By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 15, Sep 2022, 17:11 pm IST | UPDATED: 15, Sep 2022, 17:12 pm IST
New Delhi: Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday (September 15, 2022) said that the special category status will be granted to "all the backward states" if the non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance comes to power at the Centre. Nitish, who recently visited Delhi to unite the opposition parties to contest against the BJP in the upcoming General elections, has been demanding the special category status for his state and said that there is "no reason" why it cannot be done.
"If we get an opportunity to form the next government, all the backward states will be granted the special category status. There is no reason why it cannot be done," the JD(U) leader said.
Kumar, who took oath as Bihar chief minister for a record eighth time last month, has been demanding special status for the state, citing the loss of revenue and mineral wealth upon the creation of Jharkhand, for nearly two decades. He has on many occasions shown the willingness to "support any government at the Centre" that fulfilled the demand.
The JD(U) leader also took a jibe at his former ally BJP for weaning away legislators belonging to the Congress in Goa.
"It is well known who try to wean away people from other parties and what means are employed," he said in reply to a query about developments in the western coastal state, without explicitly referring to money changing hands.
He reiterated that his long alliance with the saffron party had been a "mistake" and claimed that his siding with the opposition camp had left the BJP jittery causing its leaders to "speak irresponsibly" against him.
Earlier last week, Kumar visited Delhi and met several opposition leaders including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, and NCP's Sharad Pawar.
Kumar, who snapped ties with the BJP and joined the seven-party 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance) comprising RJD, Congress and the Left, called for a "main front" of all non-BJP parties to take on the ruling alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and asserted that the decision on its leadership can be taken later.
Asked about his aspirations to become prime minister, Kumar had said, "This is wrong. I am not a claimant for the post, nor am I desirous of it."
He, however, is widely seen as a "secular alternative" and one of the most acceptable faces who could challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2024.
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