BJD calls for Odisha bandh on Apr 26 to protest Centre

Bhubaneswar: Reacting sharply to the Centre’s alleged discrimination against Odisha, BJD on Friday called for a 12-hour state-wide bandh on April 26.

To press for special category status for the state and protest against the Centre’s allocation of meager funds, the ruling party will stage a demonstration in front of Raj Bhavan on April 22, BJD said in a press meet at its headquarter.

Meanwhile, the party would hold awareness campaigns at all districts from April 23 about the Centre’s negligence towards the people of Odisha.

BJD has also decided to send a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee with signature of one crore people.

Earlier in the day, chief minister Naveen Patnaik showed his displeasure over less fund allocation for the Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) region under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) in 12th five year plan.

Patnaik said, “It's most unfortunate that the Central government is discriminating against Odisha on political considerations. This is a clear case of negligence to our state once again.”

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved allocation of funds of Rs 250 crore per annum for the KBK region of Odisha under the BRGF in 12th five year plan, while amount given to Bihar is far ahead from Odisha.  The CCEA approved the allocation of enhanced funds for Bihar of Rs 12,000 crore as a special plan under the BRGF.

On the other hand, the state Congress reacted sharply to the statement of chief minister saying BJD is habituated to blame centre.

“No other states have got the amount what has been given to Odisha during previous years. Blaming Central government has become a habit of BJD government” Union minister and Congress leader Srikant Jena said.

Similarly, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik said it is state government’s inefficiency that Bihar is drawing much funds from the Center while Odisha failed.