We will take special status for Bihar: Nitish Kumar

August 27th, 2011 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Patna, Aug 27 (IANS) A day after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government rejected the demand for special status to Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Saturday said he will intensify the campaign to put pressure on the central government for the purpose.

“We will take special status to Bihar and we will intensify the campaign to put pressure on the central government to achieve this,” Nitish Kumar asserted.

Calling on the central government to consider the genuine demand of the people of Bihar, he said he will hold a public rally at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna in support of the demand.

“We will show the people’s support for this demand to the centre,” he said.

Last month, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) handed over 1.25 crore signatures of people to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a special category status for Bihar.

“A special category status is must for development of Bihar,” Nitish Kumar reiterated adding that the demand was old but constantly ignored by the central government.

“All of us, including ruling and opposition leaders, from Bihar have been demanding that the centre grant special category status to Bihar for years but the long-standing demand has been rejected till date,” he said.

Noting that the state assembly passed a resolution April 13, 2006, demanding that Bihar be accorded special status, he said that it was a well-known fact that Bihar had suffered huge financial losses arising out of bifurcation of the state in 2000 and special assistance from the Planning Commission was a rightful claim of the state.

The Bihar assembly sought a package of Rs.179,000 crore as compensation at the time of bifurcation.

Though the measure was backed by the then opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the JD-U too in the state, and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power in New Delhi (with Nitish Kumar himself the railway minister), the state was not granted the package.

Later on, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also ignored the demand despite former chief minister Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan being members of the ruling coalition.

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