New Delhi: Setting aside his hostility towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar arrived here on Thursday to meet him and sought enhanced central assistance and special status for his state.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Nitish said that he apprised Prime Minister Modi about the 'losses' to the state due to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
"I had discussions on the cooperation and assistance that we expect (from the Centre). As of now, my concern is that Bihar is not gaining as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission," he said.
The Bihar Chief Minister said the special status issue has been a long standing demand from the ruling JD (U) in the state.
Nitish also said that he requested Prime Minister Modi to compensate for the huge financial loss to Bihar due to the recommendations and let the special assistance being given under Backward Region Grants Fund (BRGF) continue and increase funds provided to the state.
"The second thing that I have said is Bihar used to get special assistance though the Backward Region Grant Fund after Jharkhand was carved out of it.....The assistance used to be given as per the provisions of the Bihar Reorganisation Bill. So, there should be a solution to this and the money should be given," he said.
Nitish, however, downplayed media queries whether he raised the promises made by Prime Minister Modi prior to the Lok Sabha polls for development of Bihar.
This was the first official meeting between the Bihar Chief Minister and Prime Minister Modi.
Kumar had called off a dinner for visiting BJP leaders in June 2010 after a photograph of Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, had come to Bihar to attend the BJP national executive, appeared in local newspapers holding hand with the JD(U) leader.
The duo had in the past not missed any opportunity to attack each other and Modi's elevation in the BJP had prompted Nitish to pull the JD (U) out of the NDA.