The opposition RJD in Bihar today challenged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take a cue from his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu and "speak up" on the issue of special status for the state.
Accusing Kumar of remaining silent on issues such as vandalism of statues and alleged insult to women leaders like Mayawati and Renuka Chowdhury, the opposition party has warned the government of launching an agitation, if the chief minister failed to raise his voice on the issue of special status.
"We salute Chandrababu Naidu for showing the courage to stick to the stand he took on the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh. The effect of creation of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh is similar to the impact carving out of Jharkhand had on Bihar. But there appears to be a big difference between the chief ministers of the two states", RJD national spokesman Manoj Jha told reporters here.
Notably, in the past, Kumar, too, had been demanding a special status for Bihar and even made it his poll plank in the state elections.
Jha, who blamed the chief minister of not being consistent between his words and deeds, said he is living in the "mortal fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah".
"Ever since Kumar betrayed the mandate of 2015 Assembly polls, ditched the RJD-Congress combine and joined the NDA, he has been living in mortal fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah", Jha alleged.
Not ready to accept the chief minister's silence on the vital issue of "special status", Jha has warned the government of his party taking to the streets for the demand of special status.
"He has kept mum on vandalisation of statues of Periyar and Lenin. He claims to support women's empowerment, but when disparaging remarks were made against BSP supremo Mayawati some time ago and Rajya Sabha member Renuka Chowdhury recently, he did not utter a word in condemnation.
We moved an adjournment motion in the Assembly on the issue today and we request the chief minister to raise his voice on this vital matter. If he fails to do so, the RJD will hit the streets," he said.
When asked a question on the decline of their alliance partner Congress on the national scene, Jha said it is a false assumption and argued that the Congress has been faring well than the BJP in all the by-elections.
"Congress had emerged as the single largest party in Meghalaya. It had the same status in Goa and Manipur where the BJP formed the government through underhand tactics," he added.
On the other hand, he questioned the BJP's position and said that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was not the only alliance partner unhappy with their "arrogance".
He further said that a massive coalition of parties would fights against the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections.
"The revolt of Naidu, who is also the TDP chief, is not an isolated event. NDA allies like the Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal have shown their discomfiture with the BJP's arrogance. So have people like HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi who recently quit the NDA and joined the Congress-RJD combine.
By the time the next Lok Sabha polls are announced, a massive coalition of parties across the country, which are opposed to the BJP, would take shape", he claimed.