Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday announced that he will launch a state-wide movement if the Centre does not grant special category status to the state “at the earliest”.
The JD(U) leader, who has been demanding special status for many years, said the state needs this in order to move forward.
“If the Centre does not grant special status to Bihar at the earliest, we will launch a state-wide movement… The demand for a special status will be heard in every nook and corner of the state during the movement,” he said while speaking at a function here.
Those who do not support the demand are not interested in the development of the state, Kumar said.
He said the Bihar legislature recently cleared bills to hike the quota for deprived castes from 50 per cent to 65 per cent in government jobs and educational institutions, taking the overall reservation to 75 per cent, on the basis of the caste survey, conducted by the state government.
“We have planned a number of welfare initiatives for the economically weaker sections of the society and it would cost a poor state like Bihar several crores of rupees. We will have to spend it in over five years.
“If the demand for special status to Bihar is fulfilled, we will be able to provide all benefits to the people concerned within two and a half years. Therefore, Bihar needs the status immediately,” the chief minister said.
He said two bills related to reservation of vacancies which were passed unanimously in the state assembly and council during the recently concluded winter session were sent to Governor Rajendra Arlekar for his assent.
“I am hopeful that the governor will soon sign both bills. Immediately after that, we will implement it for the upliftment of socially, educationally and economically backward sections of the society,” Kumar said.
Both bills raised the quota for Scheduled Castes from 16 to 20 per cent, scheduled tribes from 1 to 2 per cent, extremely backward castes (EBCs) from 18 to 25 per cent and other backward classes (OBCs) from 15 to 18 per cent.