Odisha News Insight

Give Odisha ‘Special Category’ status, demands Naveen Patnaik

ONI Bureau: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reiterated his demand for a ‘special category’ status to Odisha, saying the Centre has been ignoring this for long, but BJD’s fight would continue.

The CM accused BJP of going back on its promise, saying although the saffron party had promised the ‘Special Category’ status in its 2014 poll manifesto for Odisha, it has now become silent on this issue.

“On the issue of ‘Special Category’ status, we (BJD and BJP) had been fighting together from 2000 till 2009 and continued our fight then after separately. I was happy to see the matter listed in BJP’s poll manifesto in 2014. Thought Odisha would largely benefit, as instead of 50:50 sharing basis, Centre would bear 90% cost in all central schemes. But, it did not happen and the people of Odisha were left disappointed as BJP did not forgot its promises. People of Odisha would give a fitting reply to BJP in 2019”, he said.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan responded to CM’s charge, saying Naveen is playing politics despite knowing the fact that there is no provision for any ‘Special Category’ for States after 14th Finance Commission. “The issue of ‘central neglect’ no longer remains an issue. The State is creating hurdles in the successful implementation of central schemes”, said Dharmendra.

Dharmendra Pradhan also quoted Minister Usha Devi’s statement in Odisha Assembly when she said Odisha did not fulfill two of the five criteria needed to receive ‘Special Category’ status at that time.

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