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Nitish makes fresh demand for grant of special status to Bihar

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 01:02

Purnia: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said his demand for grant of special category status to Bihar is not "an alm from the Centre" but a right and he will not rest till the Centre grants it.

"Our special status demand is not an alm from the Centre, but our right....We will not sit at rest till our rightful demand is met," he told an impressive `Sankalp Rally in Bihar`s Purnia district.

Vowing to take his campaign for special status demand to its logical conclusion, Kumar said that his party - the JD(U) has proposed to hold `Sankalp` rally in districts where he will continue to raise the demand for grant of special status to usher in development and prosperity.

The Chief Minister took to task the UPA government for not taking any decision on the Raghuram Rajan Panel report which had laid down criteria of backwardness and suggested additional fiscal devolution to the backward states on new parameters and regretted that the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has not responded to his letter.

Putting the ball in the court of the Central government vis-a-vis special status demand for Bihar, Kumar said the Centre can decide within four to six weeks about according special status to Bihar and providing additional financial devolution, but ten weeks have elapsed since the panel submitted its report.

Kumar spelt out various benefits accruing to the state if the special status was accorded to it and said that the people can not wait for 25 years for their state to join the pool of developed states at the current pace of development.

Our people will not have to suffer insult in developed states where they go for work if employment opportunities are created in their own home state, he said referring to attacks on the North Indian people in Maharashtra and other states in distant past.

The Chief Minister defended his decision to part ways with the BJP to protest elevation of his arch rival and Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, who he said, "has praised those people who had heaped insult on the Biharis in Maharashtra."
"It is regrettable that a person who praises those people spewing venom on the Biharis in Maharashtra has been made a state guest in Bihar," he said referring to red carpet welcome given to Modi by the state unit BJP during his visits to the state twice two months ago.

First Published: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 01:02

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