PATNA: Nothing more could have been the bigger setback for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar than this one.
For the past several months, his administration had been preparing the draft of a memorandum to be submitted to the 15th Finance Commission to seek for special category status for Bihar by raising strong grounds therein.
But in one stroke, the Commission rejected this demand on Wednesday in a huge blow to the chief minister just ahead of the upcoming LS polls.
“Deciding on the special status demand is not a part of our mandate and doesn’t come under our purview. We will not transgress our mandate,” Commission chairman NK Singh informed the state government on Wednesday.
He added the special status demand should be examined by an independent body.
He, though, assured to seriously consider for demand for granting special financial assistance to the state.
At the meeting, the chief minister strongly put up the case of his state and reiterated his demand for granting special category status to the state to compete with developed states.
“Bihar is a land-locked state, comes in the seismic zone, 70 percent of its area is affected by floods and there is no investment in trade and industry like the coastal regions,” Kumar said.
One of the main reasons why Kumar had dumped the Grand Alliance and joined the NDA was his hope to get his long-pending demand for special category status to Bihar fulfilled but the Finance Commission’s observation has apparently shattered him a lot.