US cable lauded Nitish for sparking Bihar revival

NEW DELHI: American diplomats found chief minister Nitish Kumar-led Bihar to be “more than just crops and robbers”, stating that the state under him saw a new beginning that could take it a “long way” in the years to come.

The US embassy in New Delhi had come out with a detailed report on Bihar under Kumar in 2007 and stated that his administration was fixing roads – the most visible symbol of Bihar’s efforts to move forward – seeking investment, developing public-private partnerships and working to improve schools and healthcare.

“Most critically, development now figures as a key issue in the political discourse. Biharis, for the first time in decades, look to the future with hope,” said the cable which was sent from Delhi to Washington in March 2007.

The cable was part of the Bellwether Project, launched by US embassy’s political and economic sections in September 2006, to look at the economic and political temperature in states over the next year.

The cable mentioned that since Bihar was often cited as the worst India had to offer, New Delhi (embassy) and Kolkata (consulate) political and economic offices revisited the state “to reconcile Bihar’s reputation with its reality”.

Source: TOI

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