Patna, Jan 23 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) on Sunday made a fresh pitch for grant of special category status to the state, and vowed to hit the streets besides making itself heard in Parliament to press for the demand.
The party’s national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan came out with a series of tweets wherein he sought to assert that the state was not seeking charity from the Centre, but wanted its rightful due.
“By demanding special category status, the people of Bihar are neither begging nor are they asking for a loan,” Lalan said in a strongly-worded tweet in Hindi.
“The people of Bihar want from the Centre what is their rightful due. We will keep lending our voice to them and raising the matter from the streets to the House (sansad se sadak tak),” said the JD(U) chief, who is also Lok Sabha MP from Munger.
He also attached to his tweets a poster and a video enumerating the benefits that grant of special status is likely to bring in its wake, and lamenting the non-fulfilment of the long-standing demand.
The aggressive stance by the party comes close on the heels of a cold shoulder on the issue from the BJP, its ally, which also rules the Centre.
State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal had last week virtually rubbished the demand for special category status by claiming that the central aid Bihar received was greater than what a more populous province like Maharashtra was getting.
He had also underscored that with the provision for grant of special status having been scrapped by the 14th Finance Commission and no recommendation for its restoration coming from the 15th, the state must bide its time until needful approval comes.
The demand for special category status to Bihar has followed its truncation in 2000, when the creation of Jharkhand deprived the parent state of its mineral reserves and industries.
The demand grew stronger when in 2009 Kumar held out an olive branch to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre with a cryptic offer of “support to any government that granted special status to Bihar”.
The longest-serving chief minister of the state has been of the view that Bihar is saddled with numerous hurdles that come in the way of rapid economic growth.
These include a very high density of population, absence of coast line along its borders and vicissitudes of nature like floods and droughts hitting different parts of the state every year.
It has been Kumar’s view that special category status will provide the resource-starved state with a buffer and enable it to dole out incentives, which attract investment. PTI NAC RBT RBT
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
Source: The Print