The BJP, which was not favourably inclined to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s demand for special category status to Bihar, today said the demand is legitimate but that alone could not result in comprehesive economic progress of the state. “The demand (for special category status) is legitimate and we have no protest over it,” Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, addressing a function after release of the book “Nitish Engineering: Reconstructing Bihar” here. During the Grand Alliance rule, when the Centre had dismissed demand for special category status to Bihar, Andhra Pradesh among others citing changed tax devolution pattern after 14th finance commission recommendations, Sushil Modi and other BJP leaders had spoken against the special status demand. Sushil Modi had previously said that the concept of special category states stands abolished by the 14th Finance Commission on recommendations of Raghuram Rajan committee set up by the UPA government.
But the Narendra Modi government has given Bihar much more than benefits under special category state through a special package for development of roads and other infrastructure. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier this month on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bihar tour again stressed on the need for special category status for Bihar to attract investment into the state.
Sushil Modi, hoever, said “only one thing” (special category status) would not result in economic development of the state. “Several other initiatives need to be taken to improve agriculture and agro-based industries and more focussed growth in Urban and IT sectors required for ushering the state on path of faster growth”, Sushil Modi, who holds crucial Finance portfolio in NDA III regime that came into existence in July this year, added.