Bhubaneswar: BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday demands special Category State status to Odisha. Addressing party workers at a Jana Sampark Padayatra held here, Patnaik said, “Special Category State status to Odisha was the first agenda in the 2014 poll manifesto of the BJP. However, the party forgot its promise after coming to power.”
Patnaik stated that youths of Odisha would be more benefited in terms of employment if the Centre accords Special Category status to the State.
He further said, “Once Odisha gets the Special Category status, the State’s share in various Centre-sponsored schemes will reduce from 50-50 to 90-10 so that we would be able to spend remaining funds on education, health, infrastructure and other developmental activities.”
Stating that Odisha is incurring a heavy loss due to natural disasters every year, Patnaik questioned as to whether natural calamities are not a strong ground for the Special Category status.
He challenged the Centre that people of Odisha would make the BJP recall its 2014 promise in the 2019 elections.
“Special Category status for Odisha is our right. The BJD will continue to fight for it,” Patnaik asserted.
Regarding the schemes undertaken by his Government Patnaik said, “I had told you about four essential things, food security, shelter, health and social security. Many eligible families were deprived of these necessities as per the norms set by the Union Government. It pained me. Hence, we have started Biju Pucca Ghar, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, State food security programme and Madhubabu Pension Yojana and other social security programmes with the State’s money.”