Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has ruled out granting special status to Bihar saying there is no provision in the current constitutional mechanism for the same. In an interview to News 18, Gadkari accepted that there is some bitterness in ties between the ruling partners BJP and the Janata Dal (United) but maintained that the two will unitedly contest the general elections next year.
He said that the BJP government at the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership has taken care of ‘every part of India be it irrigation, road, IT’. But, he said, “special status is not a provision in the Constitution”. Gadkari said that if the Centre grants special status tag to one state, “every state will start asking for it”.
This, Gadkari said, ‘will make the Centre weaker’. “If it’s asked by all the states and given to them, can we run the state then? Should we all make Centre stronger or weaker? The question is not about Congress BJP or any other party. The question is about the country and we need to take care of the federal government’s job.”
When asked that the BJP too had supported Nitish’s demand earlier, he replied: “Earlier we were in the opposition, right now we are in ruling party.”
On reports of bitterness between the BJP and JD(U), Gadkari noted that ‘BJP and JD(U) are two different parties’, hence some differences happen. “I feel that when we work for a long time in politics, small kind of disputes tend to happen. We are different parties. If our thoughts and work were same we would have been one party,” he said.
The minister, however, added that parties will forget ‘all these and we all will fight together’.
Gadkari’s comments come in the midst of Janata Dal (United) national president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar renewing his demand for grant of special status to the state.
According to the reports, ties between the JD(U) and BJP have once deteriorated with Nitish’s party leaders fresh demand for a special status tag and questioning government’s policies. However, reports say that this could be seen as an attempt by Nitish to create pressure on the BJP ahead of the seat-sharing talks within the NDA partners for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Last week, on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the Modi government, Nitish had made some critical observations about the government’s few decisions including on note ban.
Today, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi targetted the Modi government over its ‘failed policy’ to check the rising fuel prices. He said that there is an outrage across the country due to the sudden rise in petrol and diesel prices. he also noted that the results of the bypolls are a lesson for the BJP. “Constant rise in the price of fuel is also a reason for such poll results. Therefore, the hike should be immediately rolled back.”