By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 2, 2018: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday lambasted the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for not granting special category status (SCS) to Odisha which it promised during the 2014 elections.

Addressing a gathering here during party’s janasampark padayatra, Patnaik made it clear that his party would make it a major political issue ahead of the forthcoming assembly and general elections.

Odisha has been demanding special tag before the Centre in different platforms since 1979.

The CM said in BJP’s manifesto ahead of 2014 elections, the number one promise was to accord special category status (SCS) to Odisha.

“I was very happy expecting that people of Odisha would get justice. Unfortunately, BJP forgot its promise after assuming power. The expectations of the people of Odisha remained unfulfilled,” he said adding the people will remind BJP of its promise during the 2019 elections.

“Special category Status is our right. We will continue to fight for it,” Naveen said.

He also said both BJD and BJP were fighting for SCS to Odisha during the alliance government from 2000 to 2009. “As you know, Odisha faces natural calamity almost every year. It causes severe damages to properties. Is it not a strong ground to get SCS?” he asked amid loud cheers from the gathering.

To seek support of youths for the demand, Naveen said the youths of Odisha would avail maximum benefit if Odisha gets special status.

“Odisha will get tax rebate. Investment activities will increase thereby creating employment opportunities. Now Odisha bears 50 per cent as its share in many central sponsored schemes. With special tag, the centre and state share will be 90:10 respectively so that the surplus resources can be utilized for education, health and infrastructure sector,” Naveen said.

Naveen’s demand was despite the then planning commission had informed the state in May 2013 that Odisha does not fulfil two of the five criteria to get special tag.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said central neglect is no more an issue for Odisha while the state government creating hurdles in expediting funds sanctioned by the Centre and central PSU on rail, road, power, health and petroleum sectors.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of