Nitish Kumar raises Bihar's special status demand at meeting chaired by Amit Shahtext_fields
During the 26th Eastern Zonal Council meeting presided over by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reiterated the state's long-standing plea for special category status.
Kumar also urged the Centre to include Bihar's recent legislative measures, which raised quotas for deprived castes from 50% to 65%, in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.
The Ninth Schedule contains a list of laws, both central and state, safeguarded against legal challenges in courts. A significant constitutional limitation on reservations for backward classes was set by the Supreme Court in 1992, capping it at 50%.
According to a statement released by the Chief Minister's Office, Kumar highlighted Bihar's consistent demand for special status, initially raised in 2010. The renewed push for this status was propelled by insights from a caste survey conducted by the grand alliance government in the state.
Elaborating on Bihar's plans for the upliftment of deprived families, Kumar emphasised the need for special status, projecting an expenditure of Rs 2.50 lakh crore to implement various welfare measures.
Kumar specifically urged the Centre to add two amendment bills, which raised quotas for deprived castes in government jobs and educational institutions, into the Ninth Schedule. He stressed that the Centre should expedite this process, considering the support these bills garnered from Bihar's BJP in both the assembly and council.
The meeting witnessed the participation of senior ministers from Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand, discussing crucial regional matters.