Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands special category status on Independence Day

Bihar : Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reiterated his demand for special category status to Bihar on the occasion of Independence Day and cautioned Centre that “providing things in bits and pieces will not be of any help” to the state.

“Bihar will definitely develop. It will develop due to the hard work of its people. It will not develop due to anybody’s blessings or mercy. If you (Centre) want to give anything, give special category status. Providing things in bits and pieces will not be of any help,” Kumar said.

Speaking at historic Gandhi Maidan after hoisting the Tricolour, Kumar pointed out that special category status to the state will lead to its progress at a faster pace.

“We don’t demand money. Give us special status and keep the rest with you. Special status to Bihar will provide tax concessions to entrepreneurs and lead to investment, establishment of factories and employment opportunities for lakhs of youths, who are otherwise forced to go to other states for jobs,” Kumar argued.

In the last Independence Day speech of his third term as the Chief Minister, with the state going to polls later this year, Kumar said he envisaged a state where people are not forced to go to other states to work and asserted that he wanted so much employment opportunities in Bihar that people from outside come to work here.

Kumar further asked the people to participate positively in the developmental process and take a pledge to contribute to the progress.

He expressed concern over the spectre of drought looming over the state and said the axis of Monsoon has moved south leading to less rainfall over Bihar. The state has received an estimated 433 mm rain this season so far against 645 mm on an average and drought could be declared if the scenario continues.

“Rains have been less than 50 per cent of normal in several districts. If we see it at block-level, 222 out of total 534 blocks in the state have received less than 50 per cent rainfall leading to much worry.

“We are keeping a tab over the situation. If this continues for another 7-10 days then we will declare drought in Bihar. We will mark affected areas and declare them ‘drought-affected,” he added.