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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has once again slammed BJP and Congress by raking up the issue of Special Category State status for Odisha.

Addressing a conference of Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD), party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that Odisha has a distinct identity and it is for this individuality that our forefathers sacrificed themselves and fought for a separate State.

"However, what is the primary objective of the National Parties now? To win elections and form government at the Centre," said Patnaik.

“What is the main goal of the State leadership of a National Party? They have to basically impress the national headship so that they can get crucial posts or become ministers. The state leaders of national parties neither have the voice to insist on protecting our unique heritage nor do they have the intent to do so in a hierarchical centralised national party structure,” said Patnaik.

The BJD president further said, “The Congress governments in the State were remote controlled from Delhi. BJP governments in other states also follow the directions of the national leadership. However, the BJD as a regional party and stands for preserving and promoting the unique identity of Odisha. We don't have any bosses in Delhi. Our bosses are the four and half crore people of Odisha. We have to impress only the people of Odisha and will continue to fight for their rights like we have been fighting for the water of Mahanadi.”

“Both the National parties - BJP and Congress had kept Special Category Status as their number one point in the manifesto of the 2019 general elections. But like always, they forgot it conveniently after the polls. On the other hand, BJD will continue to fight for it and keep reminding national parties about their step motherly treatment of Odisha. The very purpose of forming a separate state is to preserve, protect our unique identity and continue to fight for the people of Odisha,” said Patnaik.

Responding to Naveen's statements, senior BJP leader Golak Mohapatra said, “No one has stopped Odisha government to continue working for the interests of the people of the State. In fact, after BJP led by PM Narendra Modi came to power, Odisha has been getting what it deserves which was not possible during the UPA regime.”

Mohapatra further said, “BJD doesn’t have any agenda left. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is working to ensure development of Odisha and the voice of the State is now being heard at Delhi. The Centre had suggested for resolving the Mahanadi issue by amicable discussions. But BJD is resorting to agitations and it doesn’t have any intent to protect the interests of the State.”

Reacting on the war of words, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said, “The BJD supremo came up with such critical reaction against the BJP government at the Centre in order to downplay speculations over BJD- BJP nexus.

"BJD is trying to show that they are do not support the ideology of the BJP by raking up the step motherly treatment by the Centre only to save its own image before the people," Niranjan said.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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