At Delhi's Ramlila Maidan rally, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar says Bihar will be kingmaker at Centre

Nitish Kumar

Bringing to Delhi's Ramlila Maidan his battle for special status to Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today suggested that his support would be crucial for formation of next government at the Centre and JD(U), which is part of BJP-led NDA, was not averse to exploring other tie-ups.

"Either you give it (special status) now or after 2014, you will have to give it. You will have to accept the demand in circumstances that will be there after 2014. Only one, who feels about the backward, the backward states will occupy the seat of power in Delhi (Centre)," Kumar said addressing 'Adhikar' rally here, dubbed by many as a show of strength.

Alleging that his state has been "discriminated" against, the JD(U) leader said, "We do not have to see either to the left or to the right. We have to look straight."

"The government in Delhi (Centre) should be such, which looks after our interests," he said as the crowd broke into cheers.

His comments were being interpreted as an attempt to maintain equi-distance from both BJP as well as Congress ahead of the next general elections.

At the rally for which leaders of JD(U)'s key ally in Bihar BJP were not invited, Kumar launched a clear counter to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's development plank, saying his state would present the "real model" for progress

which takes everyone along.

"We will leave everyone behind and move ahead with development. And we will present a model before the world. These days development model is being discussed. This model is what takes along everyone together. This is the real development model of India," Kumar said, in an apparent reference to the 'Gujarat model' being touted by Modi.

Welcoming the Centre's proposal to change the criteria for backwardness as well as granting special status to a state, Kumar said this should be implemented soon and his fight was "not only for Bihar but other similar backward states, too"

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