BJD dubs Chidambaram’s statement as shocking, unfortunate

Bhubaneswar: Terming as shocking and unfortunate Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's reported statement favouring special category status to Bihar before report of a sub-committee, ruling BJD on Monday accused Congress of working against the interest of Odisha.

"As far as I know (about) backwardness of Bihar, I am sure it will qualify to be a special category state by the sub-committee to be appointed under the chairmanship of Raghurama G Rajan," BJD vice-president and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das quoted Chidambaram as having said.

The statement was made by Chidambaram at Patna Airport on May 11, Das told reporters here.

Chidambaram has not spoken a word about Odisha, he lamented.

"With the sub-committee not constituted, criteria for backwardness not fixed, such a statement is like announcing the result before preparing questions for examination. This is nothing but politically motivated," Das said.

Stating that BJD had been demanding special category state status from several years, he claimed Congress did not say a word before the Centre on this issue in the past.

He said when BJD is busy agitating and undertaking a signature campaign to get special status for Odisha, Congress with a view to suppressing its failure has initiated a design to blame Naveen Patnaik and BJD by allegation of corruption.

"Congress is committed to weaken Odisha by depriving it of its due share," Das alleged at a media conference with party's chief whip in assembly Pravat Tripathy and BJD youth wing chief Sanjay Dasburma on his side.

BJD's statement against Chidambaram came a day after OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik welcomed Union Finance Minister's announcement on formation of a committee to examine backwardness of states claiming special category state status.

Accusing Congress of indulging in politics on caste basis, Das said, "People of Odisha do not believe in politics of caste and religion."