Budget 2018: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today claimed that the state got more than expectation from the Union budget in terms of share in tax revenue. Addressing a press meet here, Kumar also said he stood by the demand for grant of special status to Bihar though it was ‘not proper’ to expect that it would have been granted as a consequence of his party JD(U)’s tie-up with the BJP, which is in power at the Centre.
“It would not be correct to say that Bihar has been ignored in the Union Budget 2018. The state’s share in tax revenue has been put at Rs 76,000 crore. Our own expectation was much less than that. The decision (for the political realignment) was taken in the interests of Bihar,” said Kumar, also the JD(U)’s national president. He was replying to a query about the RJD and other opposition parties’ allegation that Bihar got a raw deal in the Union Budget 2018 despite Kumar joining hands with the BJP dumping its pre-poll allies.
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About special status, which has been a poll plank for Kumar for quite some time, he said, it is a demand that has the support of the people of Bihar and both Houses of the state legislature have passed resolution in support of it. “But there is a process involved. It is not proper to expect that special status would come as an automatic consequence of the political realignment,” the CM said. Kumar had returned to power in 2015 after forming the Grand Alliance with former adversaries RJD and Congress. He walked out of the coalition last year following corruption cases against his then deputy and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. A new government was formed by him in alliance with the BJP, with which he had snapped 17-year-old ties in 2013.
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The BJP had, during the Assembly polls, promised that special status will be granted to Bihar if the party came to power in the state. The chief minister also claimed that concerns of the state government have been duly heeded by the Centre whenever meetings have been held with the Union ministers concerned”.
“The decision (for political realignment) was taken at a speed that has baffled many and I have been criticized for it. But it must be remembered that the decision was taken after I endured for long attempts to misuse power for money, and interference in the lower rungs of administration,” he said.