The Bihar CM, who is in the national capital on a two-day visit, made the demand during his meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram. He also demanded that a central team visit Bihar to assess the situation.
    
Nitish Kumar is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday over the issue. The Bihar government on Wednesday had declared 33 of the total 38 districts in the state as drought affected.
    
Kumar said that his government is keeping a watch on the situation and if required, the remaining five districts will also be declared drought-affected. He maintained that Monsoon has been 37 percent deficient and the sowed crops in the state are drying.
    
"We have informed them about our needs. We would want their (Centre) teams to visit Bihar and we are giving them a paper in this regard. Today, I will meet the Agriculture Minister and tomorrow the Prime Minister on this issue," he said when asked what transpired during his meeting with Chidambaram.
    
On being asked about the amount of central assistance the state requires, Kumar said that the amount required as per the assessment made now is Rs 12,000 crore but ‘it may increase later when the central team visits us.’
    
"But now whatever broad assessment we have done, that we will give to the Agriculture Minister today and to the Prime Minister tomorrow. Today I have not given any paper to Chidambaram, I just apprised him regarding the situation," he said.
    
The Bihar CM will deliver a lecture on Friday at an annual programme of the National Commission for Minorities.

(Agencies)

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