Nitish backs Naidu's demand for special category status

Nitish backs Naidu's demand for special category status

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PTI file photo.

The Andhra Pradesh government's demand for a special category status on Sunday received support from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who wanted a similar status for his state as well.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made a strong pitch for a special category status — as promised in the AP Bifurcation Act, an issue over which he had walked out of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

Kumar demanded the grant of special category status to Bihar, contending that the state was far below the national average on multiple parameters of development.

The special status will increase its resources, improve access to external resources and act as a catalyst for private investment, Kumar said while backing Andhra Pradesh on the issue.
Kumar said after carving out Jharkhand, Bihar was left with very little resources.

He also wanted a special cell under the planning commission, set up to look into the needs of the state, to be revived under the Niti Aayog.

Naidu also wanted the Centre to amend the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission which was a rallying point for southern states.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also echoed Naidu's concerns and wanted reframing of the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission.

“I urge the Union government to re-frame these terms of reference in such a way as to ensure real fairness and equity in the matter of devolution of resources to the states,” Vijayan said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami demanded the revision of certain terms of reference, contending that they were “not in line with the principles of federalism enshrined in our Constitution.”