JD(U) divided over Budget: Sharad slams it, Nitish likes it

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Patna, March 1: The JD(U) looked divided in judging the Union Budget 2013 presented by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday. While the party chief, Sharad Yadav criticised the budget, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lauded it for his longstanding demand of granting a special category status to Bihar found a favourable mention in both the economic survey and the Budget speech.

Kumar termed the developments as a moral victory for the JD(U) and thanked Chidambaram. However, he said that the JD(U)'s proposed rally in Delhi on March 17 over the same issue would be held as per the schedule.

The Bihar CM said they had been stressing the need for Bihar and other backward states to be accorded the special category status. He said he wholeheartedly thanked the finance minister after seeing that the demand was admitted "in principle" in the budget speech.

He hoped that the matter would be implemented soon on the ground.

The Economic Survey 2012-13 had stressed the need to reassess the criteria for granting special category status to states. An elated JD(U) leadership said it was a result of Kumar's long struggle towards this aim.

However, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP termed the Budget as a disappointing one. He said like the railway budget, the general budget did little for Bihar and would see the state lose much of the central taxes. He described the state's loss in the current budget as "massive".

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