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Patna: During an Eastern Zonal Council meeting presided over by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Patna on Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar fervently advocated for the grant of special status to Bihar.

Demand for special status has been a key issue for Nitish Kumar. During the meeting, he emphasized that providing special status to Bihar, a state with significant challenges, would enable it to progress.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on various occasions earlier had also declared his intent to launch a statewide campaign for the grant of special status.

This demand for special status was echoed alongside a plea to include increased reservations in the ninth schedule of the Constitution.
The Bihar government had recently hiked the reservation limit of Extremely Backward Castes, (EBC), Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Caste (OBC) to 65 per cent based on the findings of the caste-based survey and socio-economic data report. When combined with the 10 per cent for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), the reservation quota was



raised to 75 per cent.

The demand comes almost a month after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s criticism of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s government. In his speech during a rally in Muzaffarpur last month, Mr. Shah accused the state's caste-based survey of deliberately inflating the Muslim-Yadav population as part of "appeasement politics".

Notably, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was sharing a dais with Union Minister Amit Shah for the first time after he snapped ties with the BJP and formed a grand alliance government in Bihar.

Reports suggest that a number of issues, including the creation of infrastructure, safety, security and other core issues were also raised during the meeting. This was the 26th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council.

Eastern Zonal Council meeting comprises states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. While Chief Ministers from West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand could not attend the event on Sunday, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar welcomed representatives from these states.




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