NEW DELHI: As the Bihar election inches closer, both BJP and JDU are involved in war of words over the special package.
If the BJP wants to hard sell the Rs 1.25 lakh crore special package announced by Prime Minster Narendra Modi as a panacea for the ills in the state, chief minister Nitish Kumar is sticking to his demand of special category. The semantics over the issue is likely to play out in coming days, as both take on each other.
On Wednesday, Nitish Kumar fired the first salvo, attacking special package as “repackaging”, the BJP hit back saying it will fulfil the promise it had made after proper consideration.
Former BJP president and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari lashed out at Kumar saying the latter was frustrated with BJP’s surge in state.
"It's unfortunate that a leader of Kumar's stature is speaking like this. His statements are born out of frustration as a certain defeat is staring at him and people are comparing the NDA's package with his government's failure,” Gadkari said while challenging him for a duel on the TV.
“I challenge him for a televised debate for every project under the special package. We have prepared all the details under every scheme," Transport minister said during a press conference at party head quarter.
Kumar had termed the special package a fairy tale. “Rs 1.08 lakh crore out of Rs. 1.25 lakh crore is a mere repackaging and appropriation of old schemes and ongoing projects announced in the past,” Kumar had tweeted attacking the package.
Gadkari further added, "What Kumar is doing is nothing but misleading the people of Bihar. I ask him why could his government not execute projects worth Rs 40000 crore all these years? The Bihar government has put stumbling block in its path to development time and again. Narendra Modi government will fulfil 101 per cent of its promises."
As Gadkari launched a scathing attack on him, Nitish Kumar responded, “Mr.Gadkari has a habit of punching above his weight. Before debating the whole package he should first answer questions relating to his department.”
Gadkari claimed that in his 35 years of public life, he had fulfilled all the commitments he had made. "I ask all those who are questioning the government that either they resign or I will if it is not done," he said.
Taking a dig at Kumar, Gadkari said he was not a man given to making such comments but his mental condition has "worsened" as he can see a clear defeat.
The Union minister said Kumar was making a show of a bridge over the Ganga river while the fact was that the Asian Development Bank had not sanctioned the loan all these years and his government had not even prepared a detailed project report.