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CM Nitish Kumar hails Raghuram Rajan report after Bihar tagged 'least developed' in state list

Sep 26 2013, 21:09 IST
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Raghuram Rajan report is being seen as the Congress reaching out to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI Raghuram Rajan report is being seen as the Congress reaching out to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI
SummaryNitish Kumar said Raghuram Rajan report would 'open all doors for economic assistance'.

Welcoming Raghuram Rajan panel report which has put Bihar among the least developed states, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today described it as a 'victory' for the state but was non-committal on alliance with Congress for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

"Do not talk of politics today... We will take stock of the political situation at our Chintan Shivir at Rajgir on October 28-29 next," Nitish Kumar said when asked whether favourable report by the UPA government would pave the way for an alliance between JD(U) and Congress for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Nitish Kumar had in the past said that his party would extend support in 2014 Parliamentary elections whoever supported Bihar's demand for the special category status.

The Raghuram Rajan Committee report, which puts Bihar among 10 least developed states is being seen as the Congress reaching out to JD(U).

Incidentally, the JD(U) has severed its 17-year-long alliance with BJP in June over the elevation of Narendra Modi as the party's poll panel chief.

Nitish Kumar said the revisiting of criteria for declaring backwardness as carried by the sub-committee headed by Raghuram Rajan would "open all doors for future economic assistance".

However, it would have been better if the panel had taken per capita income as criteria for deciding economic backwardness of the states instead of per capita consumption, the CM Nitish Kumar said.

"But, still even this form of the report is also welcomed," he said and added that he had thanked Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram for the 'positive' report.

Nitish Kumar, who visited JD(U) state headquarters to share his happiness over the report with partymen, was greeted with drum beats and bursting of crackers.

JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP, RCP Singh, state party spokespersons Sanjay Singh and Rajeev Ranjan Prasad flanked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at the press meet at party headquarters.

About the panel report not mentioning the special category status, Kumar said that Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said it was subsumed in the report and the finance ministry would look into it for future actions.

"But, the report is still something akin to it (special category status)," a visibly upbeat Bihar CM said, adding, it would help in more devolution of Central funds, tax exemptions and lowering of the state's share in Central assistance.

"The report is a victory of JD(U) principles... I will not rest on

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