"Our call for bandh is a daylong Satyagraha in line with Mahatma Gandhi's ideology to protest against denial of special category status to Bihar," Nitish Kumar said at a press conference here.

He said the shutdown will be a peaceful protest.

Nitish Kumar appealed to all the people and all political parties of Bihar to support the shutdown. He also urged people to boycott their work to join the "bandh" to show their solidarity with the cause of the state.

The Chief Minister said people will participate in 'thali' beating on March 1 late evening in support of the state shutdown the following day.

The Janata Dal (United) leader accused the Central Government of deliberately denying the special category status to Bihar. "It was a betrayal of the people of Bihar by the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government," he said.

He reminded people that Bihar was denied special status despite a demand for it for long, but Seemandhara -- the residual state of Andhra Pradesh -- was granted the same within days of parliamentary turmoil over Telangana.

"It is a clear cut case of injustice to Bihar. It is very unfortunate."

He said the special status was essential for the development of an economically backward state like Bihar. "We will take the special status one day," he reiterated.

Nitish Kumar said the process to grant the status appeared to have got derailed under the influence of the Rashtriya Janata Dal -- likely ally of the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The Left parties -- Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India-Marxist -- have extended their support to the shutdown.

Announcing another march on the same issue, Nitish Kumar said, "I will launch Sankalp Yatra from Champaran district on March 5."


Latest News  from Bihar News Desk






Tejpal's facilities in Goa jail curtailed

          Panaji, Feb 27 (PTI) The facilities extended to Tehelka

founder editor Tarun Tejpal in the Sada sub jail have been

curtailed, including the facility to meet family members,

after a mobile phone was allegedly found in his possession.

          The administration of Sada Sub jail, located 40 kms from

here, in an order has curtailed liberty of Tejpal to meet his

family members and also using the telephone.

          These facilities are extended to all the prisoners of

the sub jail.

          The order curtailing the facility to meet family members

and using the telephone was issued on Monday, soon after a

mobile phone was found in possession of Tejpal, sub divisional

magistrate Gaurish Shankhwalkar told PTI.

          The prison officials during a routine check had found

seven mobiles in the jail, including one under the bedding

used by Tejpal.

          The authorities later filed a formal complaint with

Mormugao police against him.

          Shankwalkar said the facility of meeting family members

is extended to the prisoners after they furnish a list of whom

they want to meet. They can meet them twice a week on Tuesday

and Friday between 3 to 5.30 PM.

          Replying to a question, Shankhwalkar said Tejpal's

lawyer can meet his client whenever he wants.

          The 50-year-old journalist has been behind bars for

allegedly raping a junior woman colleague during an event in

Goa in November last year.

          The Goa Crime branch has already filed a charge sheet

against Tejpal for rape, outraging modesty and sexual

harassment of a woman journalist.

          Tejpal has filed a petition seeking bail before Goa

bench of Bombay High Court, which would be heard on March 4.











Elections don't always lead to democracy, says Kerry

          Washington, Feb 27 (AFP) US Secretary of State John Kerry

spoke passionately about the "incredible yearning for

modernity" sweeping across the world, warning that free

elections do not necessarily usher in true democracy in many


          The months of protests in Ukraine that led to the ousting

of president Viktor Yanukovych were just one example of

"people power" in recent months.

          Such protests were "a reflection of this incredible

yearning for modernity, for change, for choice, for

empowerment of individuals that is moving across the world,

and in many cases moving a lot faster than political

leadership is either aware of or able to respond to," the top

US diplomat told a small group of reporters.

          The ousting of Yanukovych, like July's toppling of Egypt's

first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, proved

that elections by themselves were not always enough.

          "A democracy is not defined solely by an election," the

top US diplomat argued.

          "You can have a democratically elected government, but you

don't have democratically-instituted reforms that actually

give you a democracy, a full, practising, functioning

democracy," Kerry said.

          "And what you have in many places is a general election, a

popular election, absent reform, present with great

corruption, great cronyism and a huge distortion of democratic


          Since the start of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, the

United States has sought to support countries and their

fledgling democracies as they emerge from under decades of

autocratic rule.

          But many Middle Eastern and North African nations are

still grappling with the fallout of their political upheavals,

and the overall results of democracy building have been


          Washington froze most of its military aid to Egypt in

October after the military-appointed leaders failed to turn

the country back towards democracy following Morsi's fall,

which the Obama administration has pointedly refused to term

"a coup."

          Kerry said that what had happened in Egypt was "a

significant movement away from democracy by decree."

          Yanukovych was elected in close presidential elections in

2010 in the former Soviet satellite.

          He narrowly defeated his 2004 Orange Revolution co-leader

Yulia Tymoshenko, who he later threw behind bars. (AFP)