Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday slammed the Centre for outright rejection of the demand for special status to Bihar and said he will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put forth arguments as to why the state should be given special benefit.
 
"I will soon write to the prime minister to present the case of Bihar for grant of special status to catch up with the rest of the country in terms of national development average," he said at a function here.

"I will also apprise Singh that how those states accorded special status by the Centre are much better off than Bihar as far the financial situation and natural resources are concerned," he said.

Disapproving of the Central yardsticks like hilly region, difficult terrain, lack of resources and development for grant of special status to a state, Kumar said that he will urge the prime minister broaden the parameters for consideration of special status demand by taking into account specific problems of different states which required the Central intervention and support.

For a state like Bihar, its limitations in terms of financial and natural resources, lack of industrial development and overall economic backwardness was too pervasive for anybody to ignore, he said.

The state suffers from development deficit and needs to be supported to catch up with the rest of the country, he said in justification of the demand for special status to Bihar. Bihar lacked financial and natural resources, industrialisation and largescale economic activities aimed at employment generation to make a forward march on its own, Kumar said, adding that the Centre should have taken into account the overall backwardness of the states and reasons for the same to consider its demand for special status.

Yet the Centre's Inter-Ministerial Group set up by the Centre to consider special status demand of Bihar, acted in a brazen manner and summarily rejected the demand without going into details of arguments put forth in favour of the proposal, he said.

"It appears that the Group decided the matter (special status demand) on the face value apparently in the belief that it should not be considered as the same had come from Bihar," he said.

The points like, recurring floods and Bihar sharing international boundary with Nepal, were summarily rejected on the ground that other states too had similar problems and these could not be ground enough for according special status, the chief minister said.

Kumar slammed the inter-ministerial group report rejecting Bihar's demand for special status and said that the report was as a 'piece of garbage' that deserved to be thrown in the dustbin.

He urged the Centre to review its decision rejecting Bihar's demand for special status and set up a committee of experts and officials to look into the matter.

Stating that people have pinned their hope for economic turnaround on the Centre's consideration of the special status demand, he said that the people will agitate on the issue in both Bihar and New Delhi as there was an unanimity and consensus on the issue.

(Agencies)

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