Friday, April 6, 2012

Sam Pitroda: No need for special category status to Bihar

Manoj Chaurasia/ Patna

Patna, April 6 : In a severe setback to Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar’s repeated demand for a special category status to Bihar, the advisor to Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations Sam Pitroda today said there was no need for that.

For the past few years, Mr Kumar had been actively campaigning for a special category be granted to Bihar on the ground that it would woo more private investors leading to huge growth and prosperity in the state.

“There is no need for a special status to Bihar to help it woo private investments as the state has sufficient resources. All it requires is to mobilise them,” said Mr Pitroda who was here to attend the third convocation of a management institute.

Stating that it was not possible for the Centre to meet every demand coming from the states, he said: “Everybody is today asking for special assistance, including states like West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Bihar”.

Referring to the state government’s contention that the special  category status will lead to private investors, Mr Pitroda said the investors had a lot of options to set up industrial units across the country adding they take such decisions depending upon the availability of various resources and infrastructure anywhere in the country.

Further, he advised the government to focus on power generation, education, health and industry.
The development has come as a huge setback to the state government which was expecting some “good news” from the Centre sometimes this year.

Only in July last year, a team of state JD-U leaders had submitted 1.25 crore signatures collected from the people and complied in over 1800 books to the Prime Minister, seeking for a special category status. Some local newspapers too had sided with the state government and had been actively campaigning for this demand, claiming “India can’t move ahead if Bihar lags behind”. 

This is the second time in the past few weeks that the state government has met with serious strategic failures, indicating its poor coordination with the Centre.

The development comes soon after the Centre decided to set up Central University of Bihar (CUB) at Gaya, instead of Bihar chief minister’s demand to set up the same in Motihari.

Mr Kumar had been pressing for the CUB in Motihari on the ground that it was from where Mahatma Gandhi launched his Satyagrha but the Centre said Gaya has better infrastructure as well as linked with road, rail and air.

An irate Mr Kumar, however, has shot off several protest letters to the Union HRD minister Kapil Sibbal charging him with playing with the sentiments of the people of Motihari.

But the move seems to have backfired now as now the residents of Gaya have gone on agitation-path in protest against the state government’s stiff opposition to it and its growing demand to shift the university from Gaya to Motihari.

The residents have declared that any move to shift the the university from Gaya will be opposed tooth and nail.

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