Patna: With Assembly elections looming in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar once again dredged up the issue of special economic status that had largely been forgotten since the last Lok Sabha poll that gave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a massive mandate not seen in Indian history before.

Speaking at a meeting of the council of the Eastern Zone in Bhubaneshwar in Orissa on Friday, Kumar, taking a break from his two favorite issues including prohibition and Jal Jeevan Hariyali, revived his demand of nearly 15 years seeking special status for Bihar in the presence of Home Minister and BJP national president Amit Shah.

Making his case for the special status, the Chief Minister said that despite registering double-digit growth in the last many years, Bihar continued to lag behind many states in nearly all major national indices.

"Bihar, like many other states, Bihar remains backward in per capita income, industrialization, and infrastructure. The central government should come up with a policy that helps such states to come out of this morass," he said adding this goal cannot be achieved until special economic status is granted to such states.

"Special status is our right as it will also allow us to be a constructive partner in the process of nation building," he further said.

Special status for Bihar used to be the rallying cry of Nitish Kumar before he was part of the NDA but since the Janata Dal-U became the part of NDA again in 2017, he had virtually dropped this demand of his while embracing other BJP agendas.