Presidential Election 2017: Days before Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar declared his support for NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, the Centre had put its weight behind Bihar government while resolving dispute between Bihar and Jharkhand over Bihar Niwas property in the national capital, Indian Express report said.It had convinced the Jharkhand government to settle its claim on the building in Chanakyapuri area and accept the compensation, signalling a victory for the Nitish Kumar Government. Apart from the Home Ministry, officials from Union Urban Development Ministry also participated in the negotiations. The later has been asked to work out on the amount of compensation that Bihar would give to Jharkhand, government sources were quoted as saying by the paper.
“We made the proposal that has been accepted by Jharkhand. Both the states now have two properties, and we have agreed to pay compensation to Jharkhand based on the bifurcation rules laid down by the Union Home Ministry,” Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told the paper, while confirming the report. The dispute over Bihar Niwas between two states dates back to 2000, soon after Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar to become a separate state, following which the Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000, was passed, on distribution of assets between the two states. The Act permitted transfer of one-third of Bihar’s assets to Jharkhand.
As per the report, Jharkhand demanded one-third of the 32-room Bihar Niwas and 64-room Bihar Bhawan, both situated in the national capital. Challenging its claim, Bihar said that Jharkhand has two addresses in the national capital, which are Jharkhand Bhawan in Vasant Kunj and a vacant plot near Connaught Place.However, Jharkhand government said the property that was allocated to it did not have enough space and staked its claim on Bihar Niwas. When the UPA was in power at the Centre, it asked the Bihar government to give Bihar Niwas to Jharkhand.
The Bihar Government had moved the Supreme Court on the issue in 2004. the apex court had asked chief secretaries of the two states to resolve the matter by consulting Union Home Ministry and Urban Development Ministry. “We held several rounds of consultations before both sides agreed to this solution. It will be conveyed to the Supreme Court,” a top Home Ministry official was quoted as saying by Indian Express.