Ranchi: Two opposition parties Saturday called a shutdown March 2 to seek
special status for Jharkhand on the lines of that to be given to Seemandra after Telangana is carved out of Andhra Pradesh. A demand for special package for Jharkhand on the lines of
Seemandhra was raised by the ruling and Opposition members of Jharkhand Assembly. Bharatiya Janata Party, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and All Jharkhand Students Union legislators pressed the state government to put forth the demand before the Central government.
Holding posters, the legislators of the Opposition parties led by the BJP demanded that the special package be granted to Jharkhand since the same had been granted to Seemandhra. They said the special package demand was not new since it had been raised long back during the formation of Jharkhand after separation from Bihar.
The BJP legislators said the Central government should not adopt a discriminatory attitude towards Jharkhand since the people of this state deserved a special package on the ground
of various facts.
JMM legislators including Jagannath Mahato, Dipak Birua and Vidyut Varan Mahato joined several
others to demand priority to the local people in government jobs. They waived posters and demanded that the government should take prompt decision in this regard. Some of the members
sat in the well while raising slogans.
The Speaker of the Assembly Shashank Shekhar Bhokta tried to persuade the members of ruling
alliance and Opposition and assured them that they will be allowed to raise questions and
speak on the issue.
AJSU president Sudesh Mahato said his party had long been demanding special state status for
Jharkhand. He said the party had also taken up the demand with the President of India. He said the Raghurajan Committee report had termed Jharkhand as a backward state. He said the state
should be given a special package since it was the fifth most backward state of the country.
JVM legislator Pradip Yadav said the Central gov-ernment had ignored pleas of Jharkhand leaders and its people by not giving the state a special package. BJP leader CP Singh said the Central government was deliberately delaying the special package for Jharkhand.