"The chief minister urged the Centre to accord special status to Bihar in the meeting."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday raised before Union Home Minister Amit Shah his long-standing demand for grant of special category status to the state.
At the 26th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council here, chaired by Mr Shah, Mr Kumar also hoped that the Centre will consider the request for placing in the ninth schedule of the Constitution the state's recent legislations by which quotas for deprived castes were raised from 50 per cent to 65 per cent.
The Ninth Schedule of the Constitution includes a list of Central and state laws that cannot be challenged in courts. In 1992, the Supreme Court capped reservations for the backward classes at 50 per cent.
"The chief minister urged the Centre to accord special status to Bihar in the meeting. Bihar has been raising the issue of Special status to the state since 2010. The fresh demand was necessitated by findings of the caste survey carried out by the grand alliance government in the state," a CMO statement said.
"The state government has planned to undertake several welfare measures for deprived families. The implementation of all such measures will incur an expenditure of Rs 2.50 lakh crore... Therefore, we demand special status for Bihar," he said.
The chief minister demanded that the Centre should place two amendment bills raising the quota for deprived castes from 50 to 65 per cent in state government jobs and educational institutions in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution to make them to make them immune to legal scrutiny.
"Since Bihar BJP also supported both bills in the assembly as well as in the council, the Centre must put them in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution without delay. The CM said it very clearly in the meeting," the statement said.
The meeting was also attended by senior ministers from Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)