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odisha; Biju patnaik
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After Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha demands ‘special category status’

“I hoped the people of Odisha will finally get justice. But BJP forgot its promise,” alleged Patnaik. 

 

Months after Andhra Pradesh and Bihar pushing for the ‘special category status’, now Odisha has jumped the fray as well. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik once again revived the demand for the special category status to the state on Friday. The demand has been raised ahead of the 2019 state assembly election.

Patnaik who was addressing a Jan Sampark Padyatra rally organized by Biju Janata Dal in Bhubaneshwar told the audience that his party has been consistently raising the demand. He also said that even during UPA government BJP had demanded the same. He also accused the BJP of not supporting the cause. He said, “From 2000-2009, BJD and BJP were in government together. We had fought together for special category status for Odisha. After 2009, BJD split from the alliance and continued to fight for special category status alone.”

launching a scathing attack on BJP, Patnaik said that BJP had listed the demand as a priority in its 2014 manifesto, however, the party forgot the promise. “I hoped the people of Odisha will finally get justice. But BJP forgot its promise,” alleged Patnaik.


Countering the Odisha CM’s claims, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan through a Facebook post shared a document. The document recorded the state govt’s previous response in the assembly stating why Odisha cannot qualify for special category status. Odisha’s Planning and Convergence Minister Usha Devi in the assembly stated that Odisha did not meet some of the criteria specified by the National Development Council (NDC) for special category status.

The BJP leader said that Patnaik should read the reply by his own minister on the matter. Pradhan also accused him of doublespeak.

Earlier, the states of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar demanded a special category status. however, the centre has been unresponsive to the demand. It has, however, said that it can give monetary assistance to the states.

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