Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during a meeting with NITI Aayog Vice Chairman demanded special status for Odisha. The ruling BJD said that the demand for special status will be intensified. The BJP said the issue should be raised at the appropriate forum. Congress has said that both BJP-BJP have merged. That is why the center is ignoring the state.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik raised the issue during a meeting with NITI Aayog VC Suman Kumar Barry and member Dr Vinod K Paul at Naveen Niwas on Thursday. Naveen said that the people of Odisha face many problems every year due to natural calamities like floods, cyclones and droughts. As a result, the infrastructure in most of the districts is getting damaged and the government is having to spend huge amount of money on rehabilitation and rehabilitation works. The state is facing huge financial loss due to natural calamities. The development of the state is hindered by frequent natural calamities. Naveen has argued that special category status is necessary because the state needs infrastructure to deal with disasters. Not only that Odisha is being neglected in terms of railways and telecom services. Telecommunication is still not possible in some areas.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “The state faces many problems every year due to natural calamities like floods, cyclones and droughts. Infrastructure is being destroyed in most of the districts. Due to which the development process is affected. The concern seeks special category status. This is a very important and long-standing demand.”
Assam has received special category status along with the northeastern states of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. But the Center has repeatedly rejected the demands of states like Odisha. Politics gets heated over issues. The ruling BJD said the party would accelerate the interest of the state. The BJP said it should be taken up at the appropriate forum. Congress criticized both BJD and BJP.
BJDMLA Bhupinder Singh said, “I thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for raising this issue before the vice-chairman of NITI Aayog. Odisha is facing many problems due to natural calamities like floods, cyclones and droughts. We have also raised this issue in Parliament. Like Assam, Odisha is a scheduled state with special status. We will intensify this campaign further.”
“There is nothing wrong in raising the demand for special status for the state. But the matter should be taken up at an appropriate forum near the central government,” said BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi.
Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahnepati said, “There are many problems in Odisha. States need special and financial power. This is a long standing demand of the state. Both BJD and BJP are two sides of the same coin. So the center is ignoring the state.
The system of special category status was first introduced in the country in 1969. First 3 states Jammu Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam got special status. A total of 11 states have received this status in the last 50 years. Odisha, which is economically and infrastructurally backward, has been raising its demands at various forums, including the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, but the Center has not heeded it. The Seventh Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog will be held on August 7, 2022 in New Delhi, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to raise the demand again in this meeting.
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