Bhubaneswar: Distressed over Centre’s decision not to accord special category status to Odisha, Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday to intervene into the matter.
“Odisha satisfies all criteria except that it has no international boundary. This is most unfortunate that the Centre denies special category state status to Odisha which houses millions of poor people,” Mr.Patnaik told reporters.
Adding more Mr. Patnaik said, Odisha has been demanding special category status in the form of resolution passed in the state assembly since long.
Moreover, Odisha has a very high concentration of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste people. The State records adverse human development indicator and high incidence of poverty. Therefore, Odisha needs to be declared a special category state, he said in the letter.
It is noteworthy to mention that earlier, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Planning Mr. Ashwani Kumar said the Government has received requests for the special category status from Rajasthan, Odisha, Goa and Bihar. The government is examining the proposal from Bihar, while Odisha, was not considered for special category state staus.
This statement triggered strong protests from ruling Biju Janata Dal, with its leaders staging demonstrations in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.