Bhubaneswar: Deeply saddened and shocked by Centre’s recent disapproval of Special Category Status to Odisha, the BJD youth wing on Thursday took to the streets and began its three-day demonstration across Odisha protesting against the Center's “step-motherly treatment” towards the State.
BJD youth wing president Sanjay Das Burma, Mayurbhanj MP Laxman Tudu along with more than hundred party activists staged a demonstration in front of the office of Mayurbhanj collector in Baripada shouting slogans against the UPA government. Similarly, party activists in Cuttack and Balasore burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Plan Panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
"Because of some economic measures taken by the Naveen Patnaik government, we are now in a financially sound position. We have not received anything from the Centre as charity. When the state is giving all types of taxes and mining royalties to the Centre regularly, why it should not be considered for Special Status category?" asked BJD MLA Ashok Panda.
Meanwhile the party has decided to continue its ongoing one-crore signature campaign to press its demands before the Centre. It will also organise rally at panchayat level against the Centre’s “anti-Odisha” attitude.
Reacting to BJD's state-wide demonstrations, Congress leader Lalatendu Mohapatra said, "They (BJD) should place their demands properly and our state also meet the required criteria first."
Notably, in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik plan panel's deputy chairman M S Ahluwalia on Wednesday said, under the existing criteria approved by the National Development Council, Odisha does not qualify for grant of special category status.