Bihar’s Adhikar or Nitish’s Hathiyar
The recent massive Adhikar rally by Nitish Kumar seeking special status for Bihar showcased a new development on the national political front. The current Chief Minister who is credited with bringing back the lost glory of Bihar announced in the Ram Lila Maidan at Delhi that Bihar would happily side up with anyone who promises special category status to the state between the NDA (with whom JDU shares coalition in Bihar and at national level) and UPA.
Considering the appreciation that Nitish’s Bihar development model has achieved from all quarters across the country, there is no doubt that Nitish envisages himself as a suitable candidate for Prime Minster position. Therefore, the rally is more of a Hathiyar for Nitish Kumar to keep forward his candidature than struggle for Bihar’s rights.
Nevertheless, Nitish can’t be blamed for the fiscal mess that the past regimes of Lalu Prasad Yadav passed on in the form of legacy to his government.
Under his rule in both terms combined the Bihar has clocked a GDP growth rate of 12 % that is more than any other major Indian state including Gujarat. Though, it can be contested on the fact that it is growing from a low base but why didn’t UP and Orissa boast of such figures.
Secondly, literacy levels have increased by record 17% during 2001-2011 and poverty declined too though just by 0.5 %.
The question now arises is whether all the developmental works that Bihar is undergoing under Nitish rule is sponsored by state only. The answer is big no. In fact, the allocation of funds in the Plan Spending has shot up by 16% from 1000 crore before Nitish government to around 16,000 crore at present. A major input is from the central government.
To top it all Bihar is the poorest state in the country and only contributes 2.8 % to the national income. However, in return it receives 8.6 % that is almost three times its contribution to the national exchequer.
Therefore, Bihar is already receiving more than it deserves at the moment and further demand doesn’t cut the logic.
In fact, Bihar is among those stated that have been accused of mismanagement of MNREGA money from the center in the recent past.
Therefore, showcasing Bihar to be receiving step motherly treatment from the center is a mean trick from a seasoned politician like Nitish. However, he knows there are many who would be buying his plans.