As Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar frowned at the Centre, BJP today took a dig at him, saying he was led up the "garden path" by Congress on the issue of special status and hinted that this had led to its split with BJP.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the assurance offered by the Congress to Nitish Kumar was more political than linked to the economic necessities of Bihar and the special status did not come once the JD(U) was on its own after breaking up with BJP.
"The UPA's intention was to lead JD(U) up the garden path that the special category status to Bihar was indeed coming. I do not know how the astute leadership of JD(U) fell for this," he wrote on his blog.
His statement came a day after Nitish Kumar staged a day-long protest in Patna against the Centre's failure to grant special category status to Bihar.
Hinting that the promise had prompted Nitish Kumar to part ways with BJP, Jaitley said, "Coincidentally the signalling towards this special category status was also at the same time when the JD(U)-BJP split took place."
Once the JD(U) was on its own, the special category status did not come, the BJP leader said.
Taking a swipe, he said, "in the 'swayamvar' (process of choosing a life partner from among many) between Lalu Prasad-led RJD and JD(U), the Congress party preferred its old ally (RJD)."