Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Odisha visit, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has stepped up the demand for Special Category State status and package to Odisha in the Parliament.
The BJD Members today staged a walkout of the Rajya Sabha over the issue.
The issue was raised in the Upper House of Parliament by Ananga Udaya Singh Deo who claimed that Odisha deserves Special Category State(SCS) status.
“Except international border, Odisha fulfills all the criteria like hilly and difficult terrain, low population density and /or sizeable share of tribal population, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of State finances. However, the Central Government is not considering the demand of Odisha,” said Mr.Singh Deo.
Mr.Singh Deo has been all along demanding SCS status for Odisha and he had earlier raised the issue in the Upper House.
In fact Odisha had been demanding SCS status since 1979 in various forums.
Both UPA and NDA Governments have ignored the genuine demand of the State, Mr. Singh Deo pointed out.
However, as the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman did not entertain them the BJD members walked out of the House.
Mr.Singh Deo, BJD MP Narendra Swain and BJD MP Sarojini Hembram walked out of House protesting Treasury Bench’s callous approach on SCS status for Odisha.
On the other hand, on being asked about Odisha’s demand for a Special Category State status, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told Media Men here that, “For a very long period we have been demanding Special Category State status for Odisha.”
Presently, there are 11 States that enjoy Special Status and Special Category Status, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.