No slur on eastern States: Kant


New Delhi: Facing criticism over his comment that eastern States such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where the BJP is in power, are keeping India backward, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, on Tuesday issued a clarification on Twitter.


“These States are backward on human development indicators because of legacy issues. This government’s aspirational district programme aims to correct this by focussing on education, health & nutrition & monitoring them on a real-time basis. This is the crux of what I said,” Mr. Kant tweeted. On Monday, speaking at the first Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Memorial Lecture at Jamia MilliaIslamia University, Mr. Kant said, “Eastern part of India, particularly States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, 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 Human Development Index.”


Mr. Kant faced criticism on Twitter over his comment as all these States are under BJP rule. In Bihar, the BJP has a coalition with the Janata Dal(U).


In another tweet, Mr. Kant said, “The eastern States have done remarkably well on the ease-of-doing business index & achieved economic growth in recent years. We need to replicate this across Human Development indicators leading to all-round development as envisaged in the Aspirational Districts programme.”


Tejashwi’s tweets


Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, in a series of tweets, slammed the NITI Aayog CEO for his statement. “Bihar &Biharis pay equal taxes, contribute equally or more in governance & Nation building. Bihar gave 33 MPs to NDA, 7 Union Ministers r [are] from [from] Bihar, both State & Centre govts. are of same party and alliance”. “So, He means so called Bihar Model of Nitish Kumar is hoax & forged. Between in MP, Chhattisgarh & Bihar BJP/NDA ruling for last 3 terms almost 15 years. Rajasthan & UP also governed by BJP. Country run by BJP.”

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