New Delhi: Ditched by the DMK and kept guessing by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Congress is looking further east, towards Bihar and West Bengal, to ensure that the UPA survives till the 2014 general elections. Sending crucial signals to possible ally Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Centre is likely to review backward criteria for states which will meet the demands of Bihar, according to sources.
Sources said a package is being worked under which criteria for backwardness of a state are being framed. Besides Bihar a number of other states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand and parts of Rajasthan would also qualify for aid from the Centre.
Meanwhile, in a bid to reach out to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Finance Commission may give relief to debt-ridden states like West Bengal, according to sources. These developments come at a time when the SP is looking to withdraw its support from the UPA government.
Besides Bihar a number of other states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand and parts of Rajasthan would also qualify for aid from the Centre.
Nitish, who has been campaigning for special status for his state, held the Adhikar Rally in New Delhi last week to press his demand. During the Adhikar Rally, Nitish had stated that he would not look either left or right but whoever gave special status to Bihar would rule over Delhi. Nitish Kumar had also met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.