Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have brought Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to the front staking claim for the Special Category Status (SCS) to counter AP’s claims. He is now asking the SCS to Bihar, claiming that the State is backward on all fronts.
Given the statistics, Bihar is far behind in every sector when compared with Andhra Pradesh. After all the north eastern states, hill states and the border states that were given the SCS, Bihar is the most deserving State to have those benefits. There is no second opinion on this claim. The poverty level there is several times bigger and alarming when compared with the States like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In most of the Southern States, we find the people from Bihar doing the hard labour. All the inter-State corporate companies, star hotels and contractors have the Bihari workers serving them. The migration from Bihar is alarming as it is. That way Nitish Kumar is justified in asking the SCS benefits.
But, the issue is raised at a time when Andhra Pradesh is fighting for it. Andhra Pradesh was promised the SCS when the bifurcation was imposed on them and the residuary state has no capital. It has been the new states that were carved out so far that looked for new capital, leaving the existing capital city with the residuary state. Since Independence there was not a single residuary state that was deprived of the capital, except Andhra Pradesh. It was for this reason the SCS was promised and not for any other reasons.
The residuary State had neither a single Central institute nor a prominent industry except the Vizag Steel Plant. The people in the residuary State were left with no single resource for employment generation.
Considering these factors, the SCS was promised for the State at the time of bifurcation and it is binding on the government to grant the same to create employment opportunities by promoting industrial growth. The Bihar has the right to ask for it, but it should not come in the way of AP staking its claim or give a chance to Modi to deny the benefits to AP.
Nitish Kumar, a highly respected leader in the national politics, should not fall in the political trap of the BJP to link his State’s demand with Andhra Pradesh.