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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs VK Singh today downplayed the demand of special category status for Odisha and said it is not necessary to assign the status to the State.

At a Press meet organised by the state BJP here, the Minister stated, “The nation would grow if the states progress. Odisha has not registered development as desired.”

The statement of the BJP Minister comes even as the special category status has been a long standing demand of people from all sectors in Odisha and was reiterated in a press conference by BJD on Monday. BJD spokesperson Prashant Nanda had pointed out that while the BJP is celebrating Modi Fest, the party has forgotten its promise of trying to get special category status for Odisha in its 2014 election manifesto.

Besides, Singh informed that a total of 800 passport offices will be opened across the country, including 150 in the first phase. Passport offices will be set up in every district in next two years, he added.

About the possible time for beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s extradition, he said, “We can't fix time frame for bringing Vijay Mallya back to India. It depends on the UK; he will be brought back as soon as the law in that country allows to do so.”

The Union Minister also condemned the ‘Sadak ka Gunda’ remark on Army Chief General Bipin Rawat given by some Congress leaders and sought apology from them.

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