Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in a letter urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to reconsider Odisha’s decision to not include eight backward districts in the Centre's 'aspirational districts' list.
Pradhan wrote that unwarranted controversy should not be created over the inclusion of the eight districts - Rayagada, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Dhenkanal, Bolangir, Koraput and Malkangiri - in the list.
Rising above political differences, Odisha of 21st century should be built as a pioneering State and priority should be given to the people’s interests, he added.
Earlier on January 4 and 5, Collectors and Officers-in-charge of 115 aspirational districts had attended a conference on Transformation of Aspirational Districts that was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pradhan sent a link of the Prime Minister's interaction with the officials and has asked Patnaik to watch the video.
"It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s feeling that the dream of a developed country cannot be fulfilled without developing the eastern region of India. Odisha has a prominent role in this vision; therefore, we should start this mass movement in the year 2018. It is our duty to form a new India and a new Odisha by 2022," stated Pradhan in his letter.