Mamatas call for early polls in Bengal unconstitutional: Nitish

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 24 2009, 04:27am hrs
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday opposed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's demand for holding early elections in West Bengal, saying it was against the spirit of democracy.

I am against any move to dismiss a democratically-elected government. It is unconstitutional, Kumar said. He said Mamata did not have the mandate to make such a demand. The NDA, he added, had opposed a similar demand by the BSP in Uttar Pradesh when Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was chief minister.

Kumar said he expected that the new Congress-led UPA government would consider the demand for according special status to Bihar as he believed Dr Manmohan Singh would be sympathetic to Bihar's cause. He claimed the Congress had backed him when he first made the demand. We respect the mandate for the Congress-led government at the Centre but also expect it to respect the mandate for NDA in Bihar. Otherwise, we will have problems. Now the new government must give Bihar its due.

Kumar said that getting a special Kosi package of Rs 14,808 crore from the Centre was a top priority of his government.

In a veiled attack on Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, Kumar said the former Union ministers from Bihar had prevented the Prime Minister from visiting Bihar. Things have changed now and we expect the Centre to help us, Kumar said.