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BJD On Opposition Mode

Bhubaneswar: After learning a lesson from the unexpected debacle in the recently concluded Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to play the role of strong Opposition party in the Parliament.

This decision was taken at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting held under the chairmanship of BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik here at Naveen Niwas.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, BJD National Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the BJD will emerge as a strong Opposition party in the Parliament. The party would raise Odisha related issues with a strong voice in the floor of the House.

“The BJD MPs would not only confine in raising voice in the floor of the Rajya Sabha. If the interest of Odisha will be neglected in the House, we will tage protest by standing in our seats. If required, we will move to the well of the House,” he said.

The BJD president has asked the BJD MPs to raise special category status, completion of NH projects, sanction of rural housing units, unemployment, education, health and all other issues of Odisha in the floor of the Upper House of Parliament.   

The BJD has been fighting for Odisha to be made a special category state as the state has been facing natural calamities. In fact, the Odisha BJP had also specified it in its election manifesto for 2014 polls, a BJD leader said.  

The Coastal highway, capital ring road and many other NH projects have not yet started, Patra said.

The MPs would also demand 20 lakh houses under rural housing scheme as the Centre has stopped 15 lakh houses for Odisha in the last 10 years, Patra said.

They would also demand the establishment of a Central School in every block of the State and Eklavya Residential School in the blocks of Scheduled areas, he informed.

The Rajya Sabha Member further said that the BJD MPs will also raise the demand for establishment of full-fledged AIIMS at Sambalpur, Balasore and Koraput.  

For employment of youths, the regional party would demand set up of IT Park, MSME Park, Semi Conductor Park, Textile Park and Industrial corridor. They would also demand for inclusion of 162 categories in the ST list, exemption of GST on kendu leaves, timely payment of insured amount to farmers under PMFBY, implementation of Swaminathan Commission report, and availability of fertilizers for the farmers, Patra pointed out.   

The BJD RS Members would also raise their voice to connect all districts of Odisha with railway network, internet connectivity and banking network in all GPs of the State.

The coal royalty should be increased and approval of pending irrigation projects and 33 percent reservation of women in Parliament and Assembly, he demanded.

For the first time during the BJP-led NDA government in Centre, the BJD has taken an aggressive stand against the Central Government. Perhaps, after the poll debacle, the regional party has gone to its root of formation and would start to raise its voice against the Centre for the interest of Odisha, a political observer said.