"We have always supported the unity of secular forces in the country. It is the need of the hour and we welcome it. In fact, Congress has been the flag-runner of secular unity," BPCC President Ashok Chaudhary told reporters here.
Regarding talks about the unification of JD(U) and RJD to counter BJP, Chaudhary said, "We would also like such an unity. All those who want to fight BJP should merge in Congress."
Hitting out at BJP, Chaudhary said it was trying to usurp credit for the development of the state and was spreading rumours that the previous UPA government discriminated Bihar. He said it is the Narendra Modi-led NDA government which was discriminating in the state.
"The central government is reducing the allocation of funds for developmental schemes in Bihar. This is clear in the the budgetary data. The UPA government had allocated Rs 42,443 crore for Bihar in the interim budget in February, which was just for three months.On the other hand, the NDA government has provided just Rs 41,841 crore in the 2014-15 budget," Chaudhary said.
The BPCC President also criticised the Centre for cutting down the number of Indira Awas Yojna (IAY) units in Bihar to 2.8 lakh from the target of 6 lakh units in 2013-14 put out by the UPA government. He said Rs 4,324 crore were allocated under IAY to Bihar in 2013-14, while the NDA government had provided just Rs 1,962 crore for the current fiscal.
Chaudhary said important schemes like MNREGA had been cut down by NDA by 45 per cent in Bihar and the financial assistance of Rs 15,000 given by the UPA government to the poor families to build toilets under the Nirmal Bharat programme now reduced to Rs 12,000 per unit. Besides, the Centre was not returning the money due to Bihar.
"This reeks of an intention to check the progress of Bihar. The BJP cannot take credit of the development of the state just by inducting a few ministers from here in the central cabinet," he said.