New Delhi, June 12: Do we ever see any chief minister from southern or western India holding Adhikaar/Swabhimaan rallies in the national capital? If Centre's apathy is the only reason, then why don't we see a Narendra Modi or a Jayalalithaa shouting at Jantar Mantar, seeking more funds and special status for their respective states?
But for the Mamata Banerjees, Nitish Kumars and Naveen Patrnaiks, it has become a fashion to attack the Centre by flexing muscle in the national capital and demanding all possible facilities for their respective states. Is it a genuine concern for their state's welfare or trying to make themselves nationally relevant by putting pressure on the rulers of the day?
Why these long-serving CMs need special status for their states?
We can still understand that Banerjee inherited a ill-functioning state two years ago and is struggling to run it financially and desperately requires funds. But what about Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik? These two men are running their states for long time now, eight and 13 years, and we even hear about the former's development model as a competitor to that of Modi.
Patnaik, on the other hand, is in power for the same number of years as Modi in Gujarat. Why do these heavyweight leaders then have to run to the capital and seek special status for their states? They criticise the Centre at the drop of the hat but yet don't hesitate to run to it with the begging bowl time and again. Why?
Rallies are eyewash and expose the regional leaders
These rallies serve dual purpose for these populist leaders who have not managed to overcome all challenges only by the virtue of their populism. All these regional satraps know very well that they have limitations to go beyond a certain point.
Banerjee is well aware about the anti-incumbency mood shaping up in her state while Kumar is under immense pressure to tackle the Modi phenomenon. Whether he decides to go with the BJP or not, Bihar's poll arithmetic will not be an easy challenge for the JD(U) leader. And for Patnaik, the man has been mostly confined to Odisha for all these years and needs some boost to play a decisive role in the national politics.
For these three chief ministers from the eastern part of the country, which is economically not in the best of health, political retaliation in the name of economic uplift is the only way forward to keep themselves relevant.
Eastern states have failed to come out of stagnation, that's the reason
If Odisha, Bihar or Bengal are not doing well in socio-economic terms, it is because the leadership in these states have kept them stagnant in all these years. We all know how Bihar and Bengal fared under the rule of Lalu Prasad and the Left Front, respectively. It is not easy to pull the states out from such conditions straightaway but why do the current leaders of these provinces are more busy playing politics with their misery rather than actually thrive for their development?
This is not the era of the 1980s and 1990s when the states had to helplessly look at the Centre for all help under the sun. If Narendra Modi or Shivraj Singh Chouhan can do something different, then why not the other heavyweight chief ministers like Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik?
They assert their rights, yet run for help. Strange, isn't it?
And if they really can't do anything without the Centre's help, then why do they shout about forming a fresh alternative? These gentlemen must understand their limitations. They have only added to the volume, not quality.