New Delhi: Live updates: 1.40 pm: In his first foray into national politics, Bihar CM came up with a powerful political statement. He admitted that Finance Minister P Chidambaram showed concern for Bihar in the Budget 2013. However, he very clearly is making up a political issue in the run-up to 2014 elections. He clearly indicated taht from here onwards, what the Centre does, it will have a bearing on the 2014 General Elections. He also tried to juxtapose his politics against Modi's, by saying that his model of development was that of a unified India. "Taking everyone along is my model of development," he said, in a veiled reference to the Gujarat CM's speeches about the Gujarat model of development.
1.20 pm: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar begins speech, targets government on undelivered promises. He says that Bihar has the right to develop and progress. Centre must take note of Bihar's potential, he says.
12.53 pm: The protester is detained by the police. He shouts slogans against Nitish Kumar and says the Bihar CM has not done any development in the state.
12.30 pm: A man in the crowd starts waving a piece of black cloth at the rally. JD(U) members swoop down on him and assault him.
12.07 pm: Crowd swells at Ramlila Maidan ahead of Nitish Kumar's address. Rough estimates suggest around 60,000 people and more are present at the venue.
11.31 am: JDU chief Sharad Yadav says, "It is wrong to name it as pressurizing. Bihar was divided vertically and when it was divided at that time the government had said that it will give full support to Bihar. But it never happened. Even PM spoke upon the development of Bihar. This rally has taken place in every state. The rally in Delhi is not a common one. Lakhs of people are coming. It is not portraying of power. It has been named in a wrong manner. The motive of rally is to get justice to the people of Bihar. And talking about alliance, we had an alliance, we still have and will stay."
10.45 am: JDU MP NK Singh says, "We have agreed now that there should be some improvement to be done. After the Patna rally, the PM had listened to us and the Budget he has mentioned, has to be implemented as soon as possible. Nitish Kumar is trying to help for the development of Bihar. The signature campaign is done through JDU."
Bihar industry minister Renu Chaudhary says, "Bihar needs more development and for this we are putting up a rally. If they do not agree to our demands then we will continue with the demands."
10.28 am: JDU MP Sushil Singh says, "The central government says that the state of Bihar doesn't come under the list of states which get special provisions. It is important to create a public pressure on the government. And we will make sure that the government listens to what we say. It has directly to do with the central government."
JDU MLA Lalan Kumar says, "A lot of workers have come along. People in numbers of thousands will come. The Biharis have a lot of passion. We went to Khanpur, Okhla and a lot of other places. We will keep fighting till Bihar gets a special recognition."
10.05 am: Bihar Land Reforms Minister Ramai Ram says, "Our rally is to demand the status of special state for Bihar. We have had the same rally in Bihar on November 4. Nitish Kumar promised if the government won't agree to our demands, we will protest in Delhi. Today we are gathering for the same demand."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will make his first foray into national politics in the run up to the next General Elections in a massive show of strength in the capital on Sunday. Kumar will address a rally in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan seeking special status for Bihar.
The Janata Dal (United) has for long sought special status for the state, especially in the aftermath of its division, with most of the natural resources ending up in Jharkhand.
The rally comes a fortnight after the central government proposed to change the parameters of determining backwardness of states, an announcement that was immediately welcomed by the Bihar Chief Minister. This also fuelled speculations of the JD(U) coming closer to the Congress at a time when Narendra Modi's stocks appear to be rising within the BJP.
Nitish Kumar is opposed to Narendra Modi leading the NDA campaign for the 2014 elections. In fact, Modi's youth rally, that was supposed to have taken place on Sunday, was cancelled only a few days back, with reports of oppositioon from the JD(U).
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