Patna: Slamming arch rival and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad for saying special package was more practical than special status demand, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that the state must be granted special category status to tap private investment and to bridge development deficit over past six decades.

READ MORE: Lalu favours special package for Bihar

"Bihar must be accorded special category status by the Centre to enable it to tap private investment and to bridge the development deficit over the years," he told reporters.

Kumar flayed the RJD supremo for saying that the special package or financial assistance was a practical demand than special status and said that the latter has appeared to have lost wisdom during his bad times.

"Vinash kale vipreet Buddhi (amounting to desertion of wisdom during bad times)," the chief minister said in a dig at his political bête noire.

He reminded the RJD supremo that his party too was part of an unanimous resolution adopted by the state legislative to seek special category status for Bihar in 2006 and said that the latter's statement was inconsistent to his party's earlier stand on the issue.

"Either the RJD has been insincere in supporting an unanimous resolution on the special status issue or this party's top leader is being insincere to the people's aspiration for development by getting special status," Kumar said.

Elaborating further on the RJD supremo's special package to Bihar, the Chief Minister said that the then NDA government headed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had approved a financial package to Bihar as compensation for bifurcation of the state, but the same could be implemented only under the 11th five-year plan.

The state government has requested the centre to continue with the package under the 12th five-year plan and the it has been agreed upon, he said.

Describing the special category status demand as the 'aspiration of all people of Bihar (Jan Jan ki awaaz), Kumar said that the people will continue to agitate till the Centre heeds to their demand for grant of the special status.

Bihar has suffered from a huge development deficit over the past six decades and lagged behind infrastructure which could be bridged only with huge investment, the chief minister said. The state government and the people were persistent about it as the private investors will invest their capital in big way after getting tax holidays and concessions.

(Agencies)

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