Clarifying UPA government's stand on the decision, Chidambaram on Saturday, May 11 was quoted as saying, "...the criteria is to determine backwardness. Once we agree on this criteria, once we implement the criteria, states will qualify under that criteria and going by whatever information that I have, Bihar will certainly qualify under the new criteria."
The finance minister was speaking about a high-level sub-committee which will soon be constituted to finalise the new criteria for "backwardness." The committee would be led by Raghuram Rajan - the Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India. It would be asked to submit its report within one month.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been demanding for ‘special status' for the state. After Central government's decision of considering his demand, many had asserted that Manmohan Singh government has aimed to woo Nitish trying to break NDA alliance.
It is believed that Nitish-led JD(U) is upset with BJP leaders who have been asking to announce Gujarat CM Narendra Modi's name for PM candidature for upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Hence, UPA reportedly is trying to strengthen its support ahead of the crucial general election which is expected to be held in 2014.
However, Nitish and other JD(U) leaders have overruled such speculations dismissing reports of cracks between BJP and their party. The Bihar CM recently claimed that they would clarify their on PM candidate at "right moment".