Chief ministers of Bihar and Chhattisgarh on Wednesday rejected NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant’s remarks that these were among the states that were keeping India backward and said their states have made tremendous progress. On Monday, Kant said states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are keeping India backward, especially on social indicators.
Against this backdrop, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said his state was making rapid progress despite being in need of more assistance than it had been receiving so far. Delving into history, Kumar said the British rulers had meted out a harsh treatment to the state following its active participation in the Revolt of 1857, which led to its relative backwardness.
Speaking at an event in Patna, Kumar said, “Even today, Bihar is making progress mainly through its own resources though it needs and deserves help”. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said Kant’s comments on the backwardness of the state were targeted at the 15-year-long disruption of progress when the RJD was in power.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the state has made tremendous progress in the areas of health and road-rail connectivity. Talking to reporters in the national capital, he also said there should be an analytical study about the fast growth achieved by Chhattisgarh after its formation in 2000. Chhattisgarh has made tremendous progress in health indicators like IMR (Infant Mortality Rate), MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) and malnutrition as well as in road and rail connectivity, Singh said.
In response to a query about Kant’s comments, Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria told a press conference in Jaipur that the state was lagging behind other states in sectors such as education and health although it had made considerable progress in the last few years.
On Tuesday, Kant said India’s eastern states have done remarkably well on ease of doing business index, but stressed that they need to repeat their progress on the human development index as well.
“Eastern part of India, particularly states like Bihar, UP, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, is keeping India backward especially on social indicators. While we have improved on ease of doing business, we have remained backward on human development index. We are still 131 out of 188 countries in HDI,” he had said on Monday.