Centre ignoring Odisha’s demand for special category status: CM Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Chief Miinister Naveen Patnaik today reiterated Odisha’s demands for special category status and criticised the Centre for not listening to its pleas.

When the BJD and BJP were in alliance from 2000 to 2009 we had combinedly fought for the special category status to the state. But after splitting the alliance in 2009 we had been fighting for it all alone. During 2014 elections, when the BJP tagged it as the number one agenda in their election manifesto, I was very happy and hopeful that Odisha would be given its long standing justice. But the BJP has not fulfilled its promises,” Patnaik said during BJD’s ‘Janasampark Padyatra’ here today.

“Special category status is our number one right and we will continue to fight for it. The people of the state will give a befitting reply to the BJP in the upcoming 2019 elections,” Patnaik added during the public meeting.

Criticising Patnaik for his comments, the Opposition however said that the CM is shedding crocodile tears without properly utilising the central funds for the development of the state.

BJP State president Basant Panda said that national president Amit Shah and PM Modi have always given special attention to Odisha. The State has been given Rs 3.5 lakh crore as funds from the Centre but without utilising it properly, the government is shedding crocodile tears,” he said.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra also criticised both the the Centre and the State for failing to recognise Odisha as a special categorised state.

“I want to remind CM Naveen that while he was a cabinet minister in Vajpayee ji’s government he himself had claimed to provide special category status to Odisha during a public rally in Ranchi but he could not. BJP is a party which always believes in ‘Jumla’ politics. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has himself accepted that the saffron had won the 2014 elections on false promises. So commenting on a party’s comments which has itself accepted of lying is mere foolery,” Mishra said.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the other hand stated, ” Even though the Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik knows that there is no provision for special category state status after the 14th Finance Commission, he is unnecessarily politicising the matter by raking up the issue during party programmes.”