Nitish aide challenges NITI Aayog report, seeks greater central assistance for Bihar

  • | Monday | 29th November, 2021

Patna, Nov 29 (PTI) A key aide of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday expressed indignation over NITI Aayog presenting the state in poor light in one of its recent reports and wondered why more central assistance was not coming to expedite economic uplift of the province. Ashok Choudhary, who holds building construction portfolio in the state cabinet, underscored the all-round progress made under Kumar"s decade and a half long tenure and said "we wish to protest...like a student who has scored 90 per cent in tests and yet is being told by the teacher that he is a laggard". Choudhary was reacting to the NITI Aayog"s multidimensional poverty index report, which was released last week, and wherein Bihar, along with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, has been placed at the bottom. The report has provided fresh ammunition to the opposition, led by the RJD of Kumar’s arch-rival Lalu Prasad, who has been rubbishing the claim of the current dispensation that it has achieved an economic turnaround in the state which has been clocking a growth rate of more than 10 per cent for over a decade. Choudhary pointed out that India Today magazine had published a report of a survey of states in which Bihar was placed at the top in terms of improvement in education, health and infrastructure. "As far as NITI Aayog report is concerned, it is silent on the parameters it has chosen for ranking the states," he said. Choudhary, who had earlier served in the cabinet of Rabri Devi and Nitish Kumar from the Congress quota before walking over the latter’s JD(U) a few years ago, also said the NITI Aayog should facilitate greater central assistance for Bihar to speed up the economic progress. "If NITI Aayog is convinced that Bihar is lagging behind other states, why does it not back our demand for greater central aid," said the JD(U) leader whose party has for long been seeking special category status for the state and complaining of inadequate support from the Centre. He also mocked attempts by leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav to corner the government on the basis of NITI Aayog report. “I think he (Tejashwi) needs a bit of education. He should look at the statistics and study what was the condition of Bihar before the NDA came to power and how far have we come," Choudhary said. PTI NAC BDC BDC


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