New Delhi: Stating that Bihar lagged behind in all development parameters, including the national development index, due to its economic backwardness, JD(U) on Sunday passed a resolution seeking special status for the state.
The demand is a long-pending one of the party and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a rally in Delhi last month to press for it.
"Whether it is Human Development Index, per capita income, road density or any other parameter, Bihar is behind the national average in all areas. It is at the lowest pedestal of development. The basis of our demand is the state`s economic backwardness," the resolution passed by the party at its National Council meeting here said.
JD(U) has been demanding change in the rules and criteria to grant special status to any state for a long time.
Presently, such status is allowed on the basis of low population density of a state, hilly terrain and international boundary.
"Bihar does not meet these criteria, but it has another set of issues like low economic development, low per capita income etc. Bihar and other states like it will be benefited if the rules to grant special status to a state are changed," Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said at the meet.
The party also stated that granting special status to a populous state like Bihar will give it opportunities to overcome several odds related to development and employment generation.
"Bihar will be able to get more share in economic resources. Tax holidays and discounts will encourage investors and new employment opportunities will be created leading to a improvement in people`s standard of living," the resolution said.
Last year, JD(U) undertook a signature campaign in the state after which it presented a memorandum signed by 1.25 crore people to the Prime Minister.
"Our efforts have started to give signs of some positive result. The Economic Surveys of 2012-13 and 2013-14 clearly accepted that there is a need to change the rules for deciding special status for a state," the resolution said.
The Economic Survey also said the change is required to ensure that no state is left behind in the overall economic development index and they also get opportunity to reach the national average, Kumar said.
The struggle to get special status for Bihar will continue till the time the Central government relents, as was decided during the rally in the national capital, he also said.