Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to demand special category status for Odisha in the winter session of Parliament beginning December 11. This was informed by the BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb on Sunday after the BJD parliamentary party meet under the chairmanship of party supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
BJD leader Deb said it will raise nine different issues including rights of farmers. The proposal of 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state Assemblies will also be tabled during the session beginning from December 11.
“The foremost issue that will be raised in both the Houses, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha, is to grant special category status to Odisha. This demand will also be raised by leaders of some other states, so we are in talks with them as well”, he added.
Deb said the BJP had declared in its manifesto to implement the Swaminathan report, but till date, this has not happened. He said the BJD will raise this issue in the Parliament and added that the farmers’ interest will not be compromised at any cost.
The issue pertaining to ‘Cyclone Titli’ will be taken up in the Parliament on a wider scale. Deb said the Centre has already sanctioned financial assistance to other cyclone affected states, but Odisha is yet to get the assistance.
Our disaster preparedness has been praised by the Centre. The NDRF had also commended Odisha’s effort in this regard. But, the state is yet to get financial assistance from the Centre, Deb said and lashed out at it for overlooking the interest of the state.
The Centre was providing Rs 220 crore to the state for funding scholarships of SC/ST students, but this has been reduced it Rs 30-40 crore. The BJD spokesperson described Centre’s action as unjust. This issue will be raised in the session vehemently, he added.
“The issue of overlooking the demand for running an express train in the name of Buxi Jagabandhu will also be raised. India’s first freedom struggle, Paika Bidroh, which was led by Buxi Jagabandhu has also not been recognized by the Centre as yet. We will be raising the key issue in the House.
The Centre will be urged to reduce GST on Kendu (Tendu) leaves from 18% to 5% as this has affected the livelihood the pluckers in Adivasi dominated regions of the state.
In the railway sector, the state is lagging behind to other states. The Centre is not sanctioning funds for new projects in the state. The issues relating to Mahanadi and Polavaram will also be raised in the Parliament, Deb said.