New Delhi, Aug. 23 (ANI): Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla on Friday downplayed the ongoing debate over his statement made in Parliament that Bihar's request for special status was under consideration, and said that the current provision does not give any scope to give Odisha, Rajasthan and Jharkhand that status.
"The Raghuram Rajan Committee has been constituted. Once we get the report of the Raghuram Rajan committee, accordingly we will move forward because unless there is a recommendation from the Raghuram Committee we can't move forward," said Shukla.
"And the reply, which I had given in Parliament, which is being unnecessarily quoted in Odisha, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. I want to clarify that it's not that we don't want to give this status to Odisha, Rajasthan or Jharkhand. The current provision does not give us any scope to give them that status," he added.
Rajeev Shukla, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, yesterday said: "It was found that states of Jharkhand, Odisha and Rajasthan do not qualify for grant of special category status based on an integrated consideration of the existing criteria."
Parties across the political lines in Jharkhand termed Shukla's statement as 'unfortunate', and demanded special status for the state.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had said: "We appeal to the central government to reconsider the parameters for granting a state special status. We will hold talks with the centre and request special status for Jharkhand."
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also termed Rajiv Shukla's written reply as "unfortunate" and stated that the rightful struggle of the state would continue till the demand would be met.
However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said he was eagerly awaiting the central government to grant special category status to the state.
Rajiv Shukla in his statement said that Bihar's request for special status was under consideration. (ANI)