Amid reports that JD(U) is on the verge of breaking its alliance with BJP
, the Centre on Thursday appeared to reach out to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
by approving a special package of Rs 12,000 crore for his state for the remaining period of the 12th Five Year Plan.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which met on Thursday, gave its approval to continue the special plan for Bihar in the remaining four years (2013-14 to 2016-17) of the Twelfth Five Year Plan with a total allocation of Rs 12,000 crore for the entire Plan period.
The decision came at a time when JD(U), which is the senior partner in Bihar government, has strained relations with BJP and has indicated that it will break ties if its NDA partner names Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate for next Lok Sabha polls.
Congress is said to be watching the political developments closely and is reportedly eyeing JD(U) as a prospective ally.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, however, denied there is anything political in the cabinet decision.
"UPA has been running a government for the past nine years. It has been our endeavour not to mix politics and governance. But we live in a democratic country and everybody is free to draw his or her own conclusions," Tewari told reporters when asked if the package has come in the wake of strained relations between JD(U) and BJP.
Bihar had demanded Rs 20,000 crore from the Centre.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi expressed dismay at the package, alleging justice has not been done as this amount is too less and the state has not been given a special status as demanded. .