New Delhi, Mar 18: A day after addressing a massive rally at the Ramlila Ground here for demanding ‘special status’ for his state, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Kumar is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at around 4.30 pm
Kumar on Sunday said that no political combination should think of ruling Delhi after the 2014 elections if it ignored Bihar’s rights.
“Post-2014 elections, the person who sits in power will be the one who gives special status not only Bihar, but every backward state,” Kumar said while addressing a huge crowd at the Ramlila grounds.
Kumar further said Bihar has been treated unfairly by successive central governments and the time has come for making amends.
“Bihar is way below the national average in all development indices, such as roads, power, railways and per capita income. Don’t the people of Bihar have the right to a better life?” he asked.
He further said that Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, in his Budget speech, has hinted that changes will be made in the parameters for giving states special status.
“I demand that the parameters should be changed at the earliest to give Bihar special status. Our fight is not only for Bihar, but for all backward states,” he added.
Stating that the Prime Minister has praised the recent growth rate of Bihar, Kumar said: “
If we get special status, we will contribute more to the country’s growth rate. And that day won’t be far when India will beat China.”
The Janata Dal (United) has for long sought special status for the state, especially in the aftermath of its division, with most of the natural resources ending up in Jharkhand.
The “Adhikar rally” comes a fortnight after the central government proposed to change the parameters of determining backwardness of states.
In his budget speech on February 28, the Finance Minister had said, “It may be more relevant to use measures like distance of the state from the national average under criteria such as per capita income, literacy and other human development indicators. I propose to evolve new criteria and reflect them in future planning and devolution of funds.” (ANI)