Central ministers continue to treat central budget as their personal fief: When will they realize they are minister of India not their state or hometown?
Sometimes it is quite difficult to understand why leaders from Bihar are so squeamish about helping their home state when leaders from other states are so brazen in doing this. Defense Minister A K Antony has gone about making the defense PSUs set up their facility in Kerala. Even non politicos like Dr Madhvan Nair have selected Kerala to set up "Indian Institute of Space Technology" at Thiruvananathpuram while being fully aware that Bihar does not have any ISRO center worth mentioning. I hardly find anyone questioning why the benefit of all the Farm Loan Waiver Schemes have been cornered by so called developed states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. Moreover, I'm yet to see any one questioning as to how Mr T R Balu has focused just on developing roads and sea ports in his home state of Tamilnadu only. As per his own claim, he has brought investment of over Rs. 50,000 crores ( Rs 33,000 crores in road sector and balance in ports) to Tamilnadu. Similarly, Mr Velu has lobbied hard to get Rs 7000 crore worth railway project approved for TN. Politicians from Andhra Pradesh were being indignant at their state being ignored. One must add up the fund Andhra Pradesh has cornered over last 10 years.
If the central government had not formulated the policies and its programs the way it has been doing till now, all these so called developed states would have been underdeveloped. The states which have been the worst sufferers have been actually the states like Orissa, Jharkhand, MP and Chhatishgarh. If any state has any right to be indignant at all, it is only these states.
Bihar certainly deserves a better treatment now before it is too late for Indian Union to manage inequities between various states. Till date Bihar has been marginalized in setting up institutions and assets of national importance, putting it at huge economic disadvantage. As recently as last month, even in the case of 'Institute of Translation Research', Bihar's case was ignored to favour Andhra Pradesh. How long the fellow countryman and the policy makers think that people of Bihar should meekly accept this discrimination. Central policy makers are so blatant that they have not even bothered to release a reconstruction and rehabilitation package for flood ravaged region of Kosi, as they did in case of other national calamities like Gujarat Earthquake and Tamil Nadu Tsunami. It is hard to comprehend why different yardsticks are being followed for citizens of the same country. Most paradoxical thing has been that the central policy makers are focusing on developing regions which has been traditionally inimical to people coming from other parts of country and ignoring the ones which have been receptive all along.
Anyway, talking about the railway, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav has only partially fulfilled the wishes of the people of state in this Interim Budget. He has made more noise and delivered less in this budget than his earlier budgets even while conceding that it was only an Interim Budget. I would have expected him to take up some railway lines for which surveys were announced in his previous budgets. Also, he has announced survey of Mono Rail for Patna last year with much fanfare but there is no confirmation whether the same is going to happen any soon now. After returning from Japan he forgot his old promise of Mono Rail and ended up on a new promise of Bullet Train which is even less likely to happen soon. Of particular interest for state would have been announcement pertaining to a Rail Bridge between Chapra and Arrah over the Ganges River and perhaps two more at Bakhtiyarpur and Sahibganj over this mighty river. He could have also ventured to provide fast track connectivity for Kosi Region to the state capital by linking up Saharsa, Kusheshwarsthan, Samastipur and Hajipur using a rail Bridge on Kosi at Kusheswarsthan.
Though the minister has done a commendable job for Bihar over the last five years, yet he is leaving a lot of things incomplete.