Tejaswi Yadav Rips Nitish on NITI Ayog CEO's Remarks

NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

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Patna: War of words broke out between the ruling NDA leaders in Bihar and the opposition leaders following damning comments about Bihar by NITI Ayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant who said Bihar, along with a handful of other states, were keeping India from becoming a fully developed nation.

Speaking at the first Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Memorial Lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kant said that Eastern part of India, particularly states like Bihar, UP, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan were keeping India backward particularly on social indicators like adult employment, population, life expectancy, literacy, among others.

"While we have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backward on human development index. We are still 131 out of 188 countries in HDI," Kant said.

Not surprisingly, the opposition jumped on the opportunity and slammed Kant for disparaging Bihar and took shots at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for keeping mum over the insult.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, calling Kant's statement unfortunate, said that it was comical that with the NDA government in power at both the Center and the state and yet Bihar was deemed as a 'Bimaru' state.

"With NDA in power at both Center and state and seven Union Ministers from Bihar along with 33 MPs from the state, it is perplexing that Bihar is still considered backward. It is evident that Nitish Kumar doesn't have the courage to speak against those who have insulted the people of Bihar or demand for special economic status for the state," Yadav said adding Biharis paid taxes just like people in other states and hence did not deserve such insult by someone like Kant.

Janata Dal – U leader and party spokesperson Neeraj Kumar reacted by saying if Tejaswi Yadav had a beef about the condition of Bihar, he should first seek explanation from Congress, his political ally, to learn about who was responsible for acute disparity in economic growth when it came to Bihar.

"In spite of what others say, Bihar's growth rate in the construction sector has been far better than the national average growth rate in the past 12 years. The state has to deal with natural disasters like flood all the time that has kept Bihar low on the human development index," Kumar said.

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