Patna, Oct 8 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday denied that he had blocked a proposal to grant special category status to the state in 2002 when the BJP-led NDA ruled India.
"There is no truth in the allegations that I opposed the demand made by then chief minister Rabri Devi," Nitish Kumar said at his Adhikar Yatra rally in Jamui.
The charge has been made by RJD leader and former chief minister Lalu Prasad.
Nitish Kumar said: "Was I so powerful that I prevailed upon the prime minister? If someone is saying I blocked the grant of special status, why didnt he take the initiative for that when he had considerable clout in the government at the centre?"
Nitish Kumar has been vociferously demanding that Bihar be given a special category status for its rapid economic development.
"In 2002, when NDA was in power and Nitish Kumar was the railway minister, he forced (then prime minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee during his visit to Patna to announce that the central government will not accord special category status to Bihar," Lalu Prasad said.
Lalu Prasad said Nitish Kumar should explain why he was silent when Vajpayee said "no" to accord a special category status on Bihar.
"He was a powerful cabinet minister but he hardly put any pressure on the Vajpayee government."