Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Odisha’s demand is justified

The demand of Special Status for the state of Odisha is absolutely justified. Odisha is one of the poorest and most backward states of the nation. The Centre must not be apathetic to the justified demand of the people of Odisha. It is good that nearly 30,000 people from Odisha led by BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik gathered at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi to protest against the Centre’s apathy towards the state’s demand for the special category status. The event is also seen as an effort to mobilise a regional front at the centre. BJD has already made it clear that it has sympathies for the third front and Odisha’s interest is paramount for deciding to be part of any such formation. BJD would keep equidistance from both, the Congress Party and the BJP. Before Odisha. Bihar Chief Minister had organized a massive rally at the same historic Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for the demand of Special status for the state of Bihar. Both Bihar and Odisha deserve to be given special status to bring them to the national development level. For the status of special category, only one criterion is indispensable and that is the criteria of poverty and backwardness. These two states have these two most important criteria. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has drawn impressive number of people from Odisha at Ramlila Maidan to protest against the Centre’s apathetic attitude towards the state. Odisha is one of the important states of the Nation. It is completely unjustified that because the state of Odisha has not political clout at the Centre, its legitimate demand of special status should be ignored. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnayak-led BJD rally at Ramlila Maidan has also given hint on the formation of regional front that could be seen as alternative to both Congress and BJP. The demand for the special status is not new. It is long standing demand, which the Centre has so far ignored out of political rivalry with the ruling BJD in Odisha. Some states are getting special category benefits that have three times the per capita income of Odisha, and twice of what the national average is.CM has been pressing for the special category status to Odisha, citing the state as one of the poorest in the country. CM has already written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh many times in this regard.

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