No plan to support UPA if special status given to Bihar: JD(U)

New Delhi: Janta Dal-(United) today made it clear that it has no plans to support the UPA if the Centre grants special status to Bihar, saying there is no question of any "bargain" in the matter.

JD(U) will welcome any move by the Centre to grant special status to Bihar, but it does not mean that the party will break out of the NDA coalition, JD(U) spokesperson and general secretary K C Tyagi told reporters here.

"Granting special status to Bihar on the basis of its backwardness is not a matter of bargain. It is Bihar's right and not a bargain. Whether it is UPA or NDA, other backward states should also get such a status. It is the responsibility of the central government," he said.

The JD(U) leader denied that his party was discussing any proposal to extend support to the UPA government if special status is accorded to Bihar.

"If the UPA government does this (granting special status to Bihar), for which we have got signals during the budget session, we will welcome this. But JD(U) has no such proposal to support UPA or Congress in lieu of this," he said.

With the DMK pulling out its 18 MPs recently over Lankan Tamils issue, the strength of the UPA in the Lok Sabha was reduced to 224, but it enjoys the support of 281 MPs,including those of outside supporting parties SP (22) and BSP (21).

The Lok Sabha has 539 MPs at present as four seats are vacant. The half-way mark is 270. JD(U) has 20 MPs in Lok Sabha.

Tyagi also sought to clarify that Presidential election, during which JD(U) supported UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee instead of NDA nominee P A Sangma, was an exception.

"There are exceptions such as the Presidential elections during which JD(U) decided to support Pranab Mukherjee on the basis of his seniority and capability in place of Sangma. In that case, we and Shiv Sena voted against NDA. But that does not mean that we are out of NDA," he said.

Tyagi said his party will lend its support for any good decision or work by the present dispensation.

"Our party has supported the law prepared to protect women in the Rajya Sabha. But that does not mean we are out of NDA. If government does anything good, for which there is very little possibility, then we will support it," he said.

Tyagi also said he has been nominated by his party to negotiate with the BJP over the issue of seat sharing during Karnataka assembly polls in May.