There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the ruling JD(U) bagged 32 seats during the elections in 2009. With Kumar earning laurels from all around for his governance in the state, repetition or betterment of 2009's performance looks sure, which would put Kumar in a king maker's position.
Why this special status to Bihar is so important for Kumar that he declared it as a pre-condition for supporting a party in 2014 Lok Sabha elections?
Those states who have got the tag of special status, get financial incentives from the Centre to promote setting up of industries. Centre also allows 90% of its assistance to be treated as grant in special status states, whereas the normal category states get only 30% of central aid as grant. Currently 11 states have the special status i.e. all the north-eastern states, J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh.
The special status is granted to those states which have peculiar problems such as harsh terrain, international borders, backwardness and social strife which prevent industrialization. Experts say the problem with the Bihar's demand is that it does not fall into this parameter. They say that Bihar can not be granted special status merely on account of its poverty.
Presently Nitish Kumar is unhappy with the Congress party due to the permission given to FDI in multi-brand retail, corruption in coal allotment etc. However, in his bid to stop Modi and get special status for Bihar, will the Bihar Chief Minister ignore issues like FDI and coalgate and extend his support to the Congress to form government in 2014?
What if Congress looses the elections by huge margin and BJP emerges as champion with Modi in command? What will be Kumar's stand if he gets a call from the Third Front, with Mulayam Singh Yadav as a prospective leader, who may not support special status demand because of the fear of criticism from his native state UP, whose economic conditions are almost similar to Bihar?
Political analyst Awadhesh Kumar said that Nitish Kumar announced his condition for support at the center in 2014 elections without thinking much about the repercussions. “The matter is not that straight as your question. There are two aspects of it. One is that the program in which he made the demand was on the subject of special status to the state. He did not think too much before saying that JD (U) will support only that party in 2014 elections that vows to grant special category status to Bihar. I do not think he thought too much about the repercussions of his speech and just said that normally,” Awadesh told this Citizen Journalist .
Awadhesh also said that Kumar will never support Modi as the Prime Ministrial candidate in 2014. “There are no chances that Nitish Kumar will support BJP if Narendra Modi becomes prime ministrial candidate. He will not want to upset his minority vote bank as it will give a chance to Lalu Yadav to attack him,” said Awadhesh.
He added that there are also very less chances that Kumar will support the Congress party as he has been doing anti-Congress politics so far.
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