Special status still a distant dream for Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday said the commission was not considering any proposal to accord special category state status to Odisha now. "There is no proposal under consideration of the planning commission to accord special category state status to Odisha," Ahluwalia told reporters at the sideline of a function here.

The Planning Commission`s statement on the special category state status to Odisha came barely three days after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made a demand before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit on January 3.

Patnaik had said Odisha deserved to be accorded the special category state status in view of its large population of scheduled tribe and scheduled caste population. Ahluwalia, however, said: "We receive requests from different states. I cannot respond to the matters state by state. As of now, we are not considering any such status for Odisha."