Munger: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday again denied that he had ever scuttled the special status demand made Rabri Devi and taunted Lalu Prasad that being a powerful minister in the UPA-I he should have used his influence to get the demand met by the UPA government if it was not done by the NDA government.

"It's an absolute lie that I had got the special demand made by my predecessor scuttled," he told a public meeting at the Polo Ground in Munger district during 'Adhikar Yatra' in a rejoinder to the RJD supremo's claim.

Prasad being the powerful Railway Minister during the UPA-I could have wielded his influence in the corridors of power then to get special for Bihar if he was really serious about the matter, Kumar said.

"If the RJD leader could use his influence in the UPA-I government to get the President's Rule imposed in Bihar in early 2005 then the grant of special status in Bihar was a small thing for him," he said in a stinging attack on his bitter political adversary.

He also accused Prasad of using foul language and practising disruptive politics and said that he could not match the latter's conduct and narrow political agendas and said that it was impossible for him to imbibe mannerism or lack of it of his rival in this lifetime.

The Chief Minister further took pot shot at the RJD supremo for pursuing family-oriented politics as he has been known to further interest of his brother in-laws' relatives and contrary to that he had no familiar interests to pursue.

"I have sincerely yearned for development of Bihar and pursued politics on development agendas," he said.

The Chief Minister rapped Prasad for negating development works in Bihar during the NDA rule and said that even his critics have acknowledged that there has been positive change in the state for the good.

"I have brought development in Bihar in the past seven years," he said, adding that the good works done by his government were not sufficient to fulfil aspirations of all people and the special category status demand was the only way the state could stride further on the path of development.

The private investment and the Centre's larger financial commitments were the only remedial measures to take forward development in Bihar and catalyse economic and industrial activities so that the state sustains its high growth rate in an endeavour to join the big league of developed states over the next five years, Kumar said.

With limited resources available at its disposal, it will take Bihar 25 years to become a developed state, the Chief Minister said.

Ruing that the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) regretted the state's demand for special status on technical ground even though it did admit development deficit, Kumar said that his party was left with no option but to mobilise the people's power to compel the Centre to concede a just demand.

He urged the people to turn up in large numbers at the JD(U)'s 'Adhikar rally in Patna on November four next so that the Centre could hear loudly about their aspirations and said that even then the special status was not granted to Bihar the his party will organize a rally in Delhi next and fill the national capital with mass of people from the state.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were made in Munger district and particularly at and around the venue of public meeting to prevent recurrence of protests that had greeted the Chief Minister in several districts during his 'Adhikar Yatra' recently, official sources said.

The people were frisked by the policemen at various points in the town on way to being allowed entry at the Polo Ground to listen to Kumar's speech, the sources said.

(Agencies)

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