New Delhi: A delegation of NDA leaders led by its convenor and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav today called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding Special Category status for Bihar.
During the meeting, the leaders said Bihar had been figuring low in ranking in respect of almost all social and development indicators because of various historical and geographical reasons.
The Centre had provided special category status to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and various states in North East, helping them to attract private investment and augmenting their financial resources to undertake development in their respective states, a BJP release said.
Bihar’s situation was worse than such designated “Special Category” states in terms of various social and development indicators. They reminded Dr Singh that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had forwarded a comprehensive document and reasoning to back the case for Special Category status for the state in May, 2009.
The State Legislative Council had also passed a resolution on March 31, 2010 demanding Special Category status. However, no action had been taken by the Centre, the delegation regretted.
The delegation comprised MPs from the state — Ram Sunder Das (JD-U), C P Thakur (BJP),Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP), Ranjan Prasad Yadav (JD-U), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (JDU), and Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP).
They said Bihar qualified on all criteria for consideration as a state in Special Category. Poor infrastructure, poor resources base, remoteness to larger markets, geographical isolation, inaccessible terrain and financial viability are some of the criteria outlined by the Planning Commission and Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry for a state to be considered under Special Category, and Bihar qualifies under all, they said.
The delegation urged the Prime Minister that Bihar be granted “Special Category” status immediately to help the state in attracting private investment.
The delegation informed the Prime Minister that this was required for both inclusive development and political stability of the country.