Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday made a strong demand for special category status to the state and urged Union Law and IT minister Kapil Sibal to forcefully advocate his plea.
"You are a learned advocate. Please forcefully advocate the demand for special status to Bihar to help it overcome backwardness," Kumar said, addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone of NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology) in rural Patna with Sibal.
Harping on his old demand, the Bihar CM said the special status was required as the state was way behind on major indices of development at the national level.
Despite accounting for 8 per cent of the country's population Bihar at present is contribution to the GDP was only 2.9 per cent. "If the Centre accords special status to Bihar it can raise its contribution in GDP to 9-10 per cent," he said.
Sibal shared Kumar's concern and said he has always pleaded the case of Bihar.
"I have old association with Bihar. My birth in politics has been in Bihar so I always advocate in favour of legitimate demands of the state," the Union Minister said in his address.
The country cannot progress without development of the backward states, he added.
To Kumar's pleas of one more centre of NIELIT in north Bihar, Sibal announced the opening of an extension campus of the institute and asked the state government to arrange land for it.
Through the national knowledge network, the IT ministry would provide connectivity to 604 universities and 35,000 colleges, he added.