"This is betrayal with Bihar and other backward states," Kumar said.

An agitated Chief Minister urged all political parties and people from all walks of life to strike work on March 1 to protest the Congress-led UPA government's "betrayal" with Bihar.

"We have no problem with Seemandhra getting special category status but the same has been denied to Bihar despite a favourable recommendation of the Raghuram Rajan Committee," Kumar said.

The Rajan panel had in September last year recommended a new index of backwardness to determine which states need special assistance. The new methodology ranked Odisha as India's most backward state. Bihar, which has been seeking special status, was ranked the second most backward state. Other states listed in the category for whom it recommended allocation of majority of central fund, included Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

"UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi advocated for the special category status to Seemandhra and it was promised by the Prime Minister overnight... But, a similar legitimate demand of Bihar is lying in cold storage," Kumar said.

“Congress is playing politics over the special category status issue,” the chief Minister said.

BJP’S ‘RAIL ROKO’ ON FEB 28

Meanwhile, former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said that the party has given a call for "rail roko" on February 28 to protest the Centre's "discriminatory" approach towards the state.

"We have decided to protest the Centre's discrimination by stopping trains across Bihar on February 28 to express the anger of people," Sushil Modi said.

The BJP leader also accused the Nitish Kumar of "weakening" the fight for the state's special category status by "hijacking" the issue and making it JD(U)'s "political weapon".

Asked if BJP would participate the March 1 bandh called by the CM, Modi said that Kumar announced the bandh without consulting all political parties.

(JPN/Agencies)

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