Nitish Kumar Makes 'Special Status' Promise If Opposition Comes To Power In 2024

For nearly two decades, Kumar has been demanding special status for Bihar, citing revenue and mineral wealth lost due to the creation of Jharkhand. He has repeatedly stated his willingness to "support any government at the centre" that meets the demand.

By Shivam Shandilya
Thu, 15 Sep 2022 04:02 PM IST
Minute Read
Nitish Kumar Makes 'Special Status' Promise If Opposition Comes To Power In 2024
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (Credit-ANI)

NITISH Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, who left the NDA and is attempting to forge "opposition unity," promised special category status to "all backward states" on Thursday.

The Janta Dal United (JDU) chief, who severed ties with the BJP last month, accusing it of attempting to break his party, made the remark in response to a question from journalists on the sidelines of a function.

Kumar, the JD(U)'s de facto leader who had snapped ties with the BJP last month, accusing it of trying to break his party, made the averment here in reply to questions from journalists on the sidelines of a function.

"If we get a chance to form the next government at the Centre, all backward states will get special category status. "There is no reason why it cannot be done," said Kumar, as reported by the news agency PTI.

For nearly two decades, Kumar has been demanding special status for Bihar, citing revenue and mineral wealth lost due to the creation of Jharkhand. He has repeatedly stated his willingness to "support any government at the centre" that meets the demand.

Presently, there are 11 special category states in the country—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir (now a Union Territory), Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and Uttarakhand.

The Constitution makes no mention of any special status for states. However, a body called the National Development Council, which was part of the now-defunct planning commission, recommended a special status for these 11 states based on a number of factors.

The JD(U) leader, who met many key political figures opposed to the BJP in Delhi last week, also slammed his former ally for luring away Congress legislators in Goa.

Kumar, widely regarded as a "secular alternative" who could take on the charismatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has ruled himself out as a "claimant to the top post."

While Nitish Kumar has stated that he has no Prime Ministerial ambitions, these announcements show that the Bihar CM sees himself as a prominent voice in any opposition front that may form to oppose the BJP.

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