Huge crowds have gathered in Delhi’s popular Ramlila Ground for the Adhikar Rally that is to be addressed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and a host of other leaders.
The rally is essentially being held to put pressure on the Central government to grant special status to the state of Bihar, and thus ensure a fresh impetus to development and investment initiatives in the state.
"We have agreed now that there should be some improvement to be done. After the Patna rally, the prime minister had listened to us and the budget he has mentioned, has to be implemented as soon as possible. Nitish Kumar is trying to help for the development of Bihar. The signature campaign is done through JDU,” claimed Janata Dal United Member of Parliament and former senior bureaucrat N K Singh.
Bihar Industry Minister Renu Chaudhary was quoted by a television channel, as saying: "Bihar needs more development and for this we are putting up a rally. If they do not agree to our demands then we will continue with the demands."
Another party lawmaker Sushil Singh was quoted, as saying: "The Central government says that the state of Bihar doesn’t come under the list of states which get special provisions. It is important to create a public pressure on the government. And we will make sure that the government listens to what we say. It has directly to do with the central government."
Janata Dal United state legislator Lalan Kumar was quoted, as saying: "A lot of workers have come along. People in numbers of thousands will come. The Biharis have a lot of passion. We went to Khanpur, Okhla and a lot of other places. We will keep fighting till Bihar gets a special recognition."
Bihar Land Reforms Minister Ramai Ram said: "Our rally is to demand the status of special state for Bihar. We have had the same rally in Bihar on November 4. Nitish Kumar promised if the government won’t agree to our demands, we will protest in Delhi. Today we are gathering for the same demand."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will make his first foray into national politics in the run up to the next General Elections in a massive show of strength in the capital on Sunday. Kumar will address a rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan seeking special status for Bihar.
The Janata Dal-United) has for long sought special status for the state, especially in the aftermath of its division, with most of the natural resources ending up in Jharkhand.
The rally comes a fortnight after the central government proposed to change the parameters of determining backwardness of states, an announcement that was immediately welcomed by the Bihar chief minister. This also fuelled speculations of the JD(U) coming closer to the Congress at a time when Narendra Modi’s stocks appear to be rising within the BJP.
Nitish Kumar is opposed to Narendra Modi leading the NDA campaign for the 2014 elections. In fact, Modi''s youth rally, that was supposed to have taken place on Sunday, was cancelled only a few days back, with reports of opposition from the JDU.