At East Zonal Council meeting chaired by Amit Shah, Nitish Kumar demands special status for Bihar

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Published: February 28, 2020 8:41 PM

He requested Shah to annul the orders shifting two battalions of the CRPF from Bihar to Chhattisgarh and ensure timely return of eight companies which have been sent to other states.

Kumar also expressed concern over reports that the Centre planned to discontinue with its 'Special Infrastructure Scheme' aimed at strengthening the policing network in the insurgency-affected areas of the country. (Twitter image)Kumar also expressed concern over reports that the Centre planned to discontinue with its ‘Special Infrastructure Scheme’ aimed at strengthening the policing network in the insurgency-affected areas of the country. (Twitter image)

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday demanded special category status for Bihar at the East Zonal Council meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Bhubaneswar. He asserted that Bihar must be given “its due” to enable it to make rapid progress and contribute better to the overall development of the country. Kumar has been demanding special category status for Bihar since 2005 when he first came to power in the state, which is among the less developed ones in the country and is below the national average on multiple development parameters.

In his speech at the EZC, the text of which was made available here by the chief minister’s office, Kumar also called for developing a mechanism for resolving interstate issues in the eastern region which shared a common cultural legacy and faced problems of similar nature.

Underscoring the positive effects of prohibition that has been in force in Bihar since April, 2016, the chief minister expressed concern over liquor being smuggled into the state from adjoining Jharkhand and West Bengal and urged the their governments for effective check.

Kumar also expressed concern over reports that the Centre planned to discontinue with its ‘Special Infrastructure Scheme’ aimed at strengthening the policing network in the insurgency-affected areas of the country.

The chief minister suggested the expenses incurred towards deployment of paramilitary forces to combat the ultra-Left be shared jointly by the union government and the respective states, instead of the current practice of the state bearing the entire burden.

He requested Shah to annul the orders shifting two battalions of the CRPF from Bihar to Chhattisgarh and ensure timely return of eight companies which have been sent to other states.

Stating that the government was providing 50 acres to the CRPF for setting up the headquarters of Rapid Action Force battalion, Kumar urged the union home minister to ensure that the construction work be started at the earliest since at present RAF companies are brought to communally sensitive Bihar from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, which involved a travel time of 12-16 hours and led to problems.

Terming as insufficient the funds released by the Centre in the current fiscal under Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India for the entire region (Rs 414 crore) and Bihar (Rs 52 crore), the JD(U) president demanded the state be allocated Rs 1,000 crore annually.

He also complained that the policy on sediment management formulated by the Centre in 2017 did not adequately address the state’s concerns and called for a holistic approach that took into account issues like the state’s claim on water share upstream of Farakka Barrage and the problem of erosion downstream.

Kumar also urged the cooperation of the government of Jharkhand, which was carved out of Bihar in 2000, on issues like sharing of liabilities towards payment of pension and other benefits to retired government servants and irrigation projects which would cater to both the states.

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