Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said he would raise the demand for special status state for Bihar at the National Development Council meeting. The chief minister whose party JD(U) had organised a massive rally on November 4 on the demand said, "I will raise the issue in the forthcoming meeting of the National Development Council."
Contesting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's plea that other states would make similar demands if Kumar's plea was conceded, the chief minister said, "I told the PM to make a separate yardstick for states lagging behind in growth rate and provide them special category status for inclusive growth."
Kumar, who had met the PM recently, had handed over a six-page letter written by him on the demand to provide special category state status to Bihar to spur growth. An Inter-Ministerial Group constituted by the Prime Minister had earlier rejected the plea on the ground that it did not qualify for the mandatory condition of being a hilly region with a predominant tribal population among others.
Kumar said the fluctuation in average growth rate at national level was due to the fact that plans were prepared considering prosperous states leaving behind backward states like Bihar. "Bihar which accounts for 8 per cent of the country's population is contributing only 2.9 per cent of the nation's GDP," he said, adding that he wanted to raise this to 10 per cent which could be achieved only when the state was provided special status.
In a veiled attack on rival RJD President Lalu Prasad, who has been making adverse comments on the special status demand, the chief minister said "We are talking about development, but some people are making confrontational statements because they fear this may shut the door of their politics."