Bihar seeks special category – with signatures
Patna, July 10 (IANS) Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flagged off a four-day yatra here Sunday to hand over 1.25 crore signatures to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding a special category status for Bihar.
The signatures have been compiled in over 1,800 books of 250 pages each.
They will reach New Delhi July 13 after the yatra covers 1,200 km via Uttar Pradesh.
Hundreds of workers of the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) gathered at the party headquarters when Nitish Kumar flagged off a colourful ‘rath’ — an air conditioned bus.
The state assembly passed a resolution April 13, 2006 stating Bihar be accorded a special status.
Saying Bihar suffered huge financial losses arising out of bifurcation of the state in 2000, he said special assistance from the Planning Commission was a rightful claim.
State JD-U president Vashisht Narain Singh told IANS that the party will submit millions of signatures to the prime minister — and a memorandum.
‘The signatures of nearly 10 percent of Bihar population will be handed over to the prime minister to put pressure on the central government,’ he said.
Bihar sought a package of Rs.179,000 crore as compensation when Jharkhand was carved out of it.
The measure was backed by the then opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the JD-U.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power in New Delhi and Nitish Kumar was the railways minister, but the state was not granted the package.
Later, the Congress-led government too ignored the request although former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan were its members.