Nitish Kumar repeats 'special status' demand for Bihar at key JDU meet

The demand for special category status for Bihar is crucial at this time because PM Modi's BJP relies on support from Nitish Kumar's JD(U), which holds 12 seats in the newly elected Lok Sabha, to maintain power at the Centre.
Nitish Kumar repeats 'special status' demand for Bihar at key JDU meet
Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar during the party's National Executive Meeting in Delhi. (PTI)

The Janata Dal (United) held its national executive meeting in Delhi on Saturday, with party supremo and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar resolving to push for special category status for the state, according to sources.

The call for special category status for Bihar assumes significance at this time because Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP relies on support from Kumar’s JD(U), which holds 12 seats in the newly elected Lok Sabha, to maintain power at the Centre.

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Nitish Kumar repeats 'special status' demand for Bihar at key JDU meet

With Kumar chairing the event, key decisions and demands emerged from the meeting, which was attended by all party MPs, including Union ministers and JD(U) leaders. Sanjay Jha, the party's Rajya Sabha MP, was elected as the JD(U) working president.

JD(U) insiders revealed that the party has resolved to seek special category status for Bihar, a long-standing demand, from the central government. The demand was reiterated in the political proposal presented during the meeting. A special financial package for the state may also be sought.

This comes after the Bihar Cabinet passed a resolution demanding special status for the state last year.

Bihar’s politicians, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, have long advocated for special category status, citing the state’s economic backwardness. Achieving this status would boost the state's share of tax revenues from the Centre.

Additionally, the JD(U) has sought that the central government include the increased reservation for the Other Backward Classes, Extremely Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes in the Ninth Schedule, despite the Patna High Court setting aside the Bihar government's decision to give 65 per cent quota to backward classes based on the state's first-ever caste survey.

The national executive expressed full faith in Nitish Kumar's leadership and resolved to move forward with the upcoming assembly elections under his guidance. Bihar is expected to vote for its 243-member legislative assembly in October 2025. The party plans to field candidates in the 2024 Jharkhand elections and is preparing to fight the elections strongly.

The executive also stressed the need for ministers in the central and state governments to maintain communication with workers, ensuring that information about their programmes reaches the booth level.

In the political proposal, Nitish Kumar was congratulated for the party's victory in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The meeting also extended congratulations to PM Modi for the victory of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting marked an important step in the party's efforts to strengthen its organisation and prepare for upcoming elections, with a focus on Bihar's development and the party's national presence.

Source: India Today

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