National

Nitish meets PM, seeks early decision on ‘special status’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

A file photo of Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar.

A day after reiterating his demand for special category status for Bihar at a huge public rally here, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and submitted a fresh letter seeking an early decision.

Earlier, Kumar also met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Monday and is believed to have discussed the issue, as it would get the State higher grants for development works.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Kumar said in spite of ‘multiple handicaps’ Bihar had recorded a growth rate of 12.11 per cent in the 11th Plan period, “making it the fastest growing State in India”.

Seeking “encouragement and support” for “this new hope”, Kumar called for quick settlement of the new criteria for special category status.

Referring to “certain positive developments” since his last letter on December 5, 2012, Kumar pointed out that the recent Economic Survey as well as the Finance Minister’s Budget speech had sought a revision and restructuring of criteria for according special category status to States.

Kumar sought the Prime Minister’s “personal and priority” consideration on the issue, terming it as a ‘right to development’.

With the momentum building up for the 2014 elections, Kumar is seen as a key player in the formation of a new Government at the Centre.

At the ‘Adhikar Rally’ held here on Sunday, Kumar made it a point to distance himself from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s model of development, stating that his was a more ‘inclusive model’.

At present, his Government is running a coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 18, 2013

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