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Bihar deserves special state status, says CM Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar claimed that the Niti Aayog has used old parameters to evaluate Bihar and its evaluation process is not justified as the state is developing in every sector each year.

PTI Reported by: PTI Patna Published on: February 15, 2022 11:05 IST
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar 
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar 

 Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said Bihar "deserves" the special state status and iterated his demand for it. The special status, which entitles a state to a number of central privileges, is very essential for Bihar, Kumar, who has been pressing for it for some years, said.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of his weekly outreach programme, the chief minister said that according to the Niti Aayog Bihar is a backward state.

"Despite the (Bihar) government's efforts the growth rate is not enough. Therefore we are demanding special category status to Bihar. What is wrong in it?" he asked.

Replying to queries by scribes, Kumar claimed that the Niti Aayog has used old parameters to evaluate Bihar and its evaluation process is not justified as the state is developing in every sector each year.

“I am not bothered about those who are opposing the demand of special status to Bihar. I don’t even care. We all know that the state's per capita income, human resources and standard of living are much below the national average. The density of population is high in the state. Therefore, Bihar needs special status,” Kumar asserted.

Responding to a question on Bihar government's plan to conduct caste-based census in the state after the Centre’s refusal to hold census of castes other than SCs and STs, Kumar said, “We will soon convene an all-party meeting on the issue and after that the exercise will be initiated in the state”.

The weekly public interaction was held after a month due to the third wave of COVID in the state.

Bihar BJP President, Sanjay Jaiswal, in a recent Facebook post had countered JD(U)’s demand for the special status and alleged that the state government is not able to develop Bihar because of its failures. The central government on the other hand is supporting the state at every step. BJP is an ally of Kumar's JD-U in the state.

“Maharashtra’s population is only one crore more than Bihar. Yet Bihar gets Rs 31,000 crore more than Maharashtra from the central resources. Bengal is also a backward state like Bihar, but Bihar gets Rs. 21,000 crore more than that,” he wrote.

BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy too took a jibe at JD(U) leaders' demand for special status to the state and said it was "baseless".

READ MORE: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar glad over PM Modi's praise

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