NEW DELHI: Hitting back at Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar for their combined attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Centre today questioned Delhi Chief Minister's commitment to fighting corruption and dismissed as a "political ploy" Bihar Chief Minister's insistence on special category status.
Ruling out any poliitics behind Modi's announcement of Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for Bihar, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who hails from the state, claimed Prime Minister was focusing on the development of the state and the entire eastern India ever since he assumed office last year.
He also rejected doubts expressed by opposition parties over budgetary allocations for the economic revival package, saying the government has "factored in" everthing before making the announcement and took a dig at Rahul Gandhi and Congress.
"All Biharis are happy over the announcment. Everybody is happy except three persons---Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad and Rahul Gandhi. It's a matter of great distress that the Bihar Chief Minister did not say a word of thanks to the Prime Minister for announcing such a big historic package for Bihar.
"Nitish Kumar is not concerned about the development of Bihar. We can draw an inference from the tone and tenor of Kumar's criticism of the pacakage announced by the Prime Minister that the issue of a special pacakge for Bihar was just a ploy for politics for him," Prasad told reporters at the Cabinet briefing.
The Union Minister, referring to his links with JP movement, also attacked Kejriwal, a day after the Delhi Chief Minister shared dais with Kumar, attacked Modi and backed the Bihar Chief Minister's third bid for power.
"Kejriwal claims to be a crusader against corruption.
Has he forgotten that what is the alliance there in Bihar. Lalu is standing by Nitish and Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are standing by Lalu. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were silent on 2G.
"I feel good that Kejriwal ji will go to Bihar. We will also see what are his views on the alliance of Nitish, Lalu, Sonia and Rahul," Prasad said, rubbing in the discomfiture within Kejriwal's party at being seen as backing an alliance with RJD Chief Lalu Prasad who has been convicted in a fodder scam case.
Sharing the dais with Kumar, Kejriwal had yesterday extended full support to his Bihar counterpart's bid for another shot at power as the two leaders attacked Modi, accusing him of "not fulfilling" his election promises and trying to "buy out votes' with the economic package.
Making a common cause against Modi, Kejriwal and Kumar had announced they would fight together for special category status for Bihar and full statehood for Delhi. Kejriwal also agreed to visit Bihar at Kumar's invitation, hailing him for his "committment" to fighting corruption.