Special status for all backward states if non-BJP alliance comes to power in 2024: Nitish Kumar  | The Financial Express

Special status for all backward states if non-BJP alliance comes to power in 2024: Nitish Kumar 

Nitish Kumar has repeatedly raised the demand for special category status (SCS) to Bihar with successive governments since 2007.

Special status for all backward states if non-BJP alliance comes to power in 2024: Nitish Kumar 
Nitish Kumar's big promise if Opposition comes to power at the Centre.

All backward states will be granted special category status if a non-BJP government comes to power at the Centre in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced in Patna on Thursday. The announcement comes in the backdrop of his recent visit to Delhi where he met several Opposition leaders in his bid to stitch together a united alliance of Opposition parties to take on Narendra Modi at the Centre.

“If we get an opportunity to form the next government, all the backward states will be granted the special category status. There is no reason it cannot be done,” Nitish said in Patna today.

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Notably, Nitish has been demanding special status for Bihar since 2007. There are various advantages that a state is entitled to under the special status category. For example, the Centre-state funding of centrally-sponsored schemes is split in the ratio of 90:10, a much more favourable distribution than the 60:40 or 80:20 splits in other states.

Although the Constitution does not provide for any state to receive special treatment compared to others, the Centre has over the decades extended special assistance to some states for a range of reasons including historical disadvantage, difficult or hilly terrain, nature of population (low density or a large share of tribals), strategic location along the border, economic or infrastructural backwardness, etc.

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Nitish Kumar has for long advocated the cause of special status to Bihar, raising the demand with BJP as well as COngress-led governments. Nitish recently snapped ties with the BJP and joined the seven-party ‘Mahagathbandhan’ comprising RJD, Congress and the Left.

The developments in Bihar appear to have breathed a new lease of life in the Opposition. Following the developments in Bihar, Nitish has been met several Opposition leaders including Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, among others. 

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