PM’s Bihar package delivery on earlier promise: Minister

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Responding to criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s financial package for Bihar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday asked the opposition “to act constructively”, saying Modi was only delivering on a promise he made to the people of the eastern state a year ago.

“Let the Congress play the role of a constructive opposition…they cannot tolerate when we are actually acting to remove poverty, when they only made false promises,” Pradhan told reporters here on the sidelines of the first convocation of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Rae Bareli.

“Last year, the prime minister promised an aid package of Rs.50,000 crore for the people of Bihar. He said that without development of its eastern region, India cannot develop and Bihar is a central part of the eastern zone,” he said.

“Now the prime minister has taken the responsibility for the all-round development of Bihar…its industry, skills, education, roads, railways, infrastructure,” the union minister added.

Modi on Tuesday announced a Rs.1.25 lakh crore package for election-bound Bihar and attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his “arrogance” in returning the money meant for those affected in the 2008 Kosi floods.

The prime minister said Rs.40,000 crore unspent from an earlier aid package to the state would also be given, taking the total central assistance to Rs.1.65 lakh crore.

Modi recalled that before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he had promised a special package of Rs.50,000 crore to Bihar. “But looking at the dreams of a prosperous Bihar, it was later decided to give a bigger package.”

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