Monday, March 2, 2015

BJD Seeks Prez Intervention, Dubs Modi Govt 'Anti-People'

Outlook (India), March 2, 2015
Accusing the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of adopting "step-motherly" attitude towards Odisha on political consideration, the ruling BJD today sought President Pranab Mukherjee's intervention into the matter as it affects thousands of tribals living in the poverty stricken regions of the state.

"We have submitted a memorandum drawing kind attention of the President to intervene and take steps for the greater interest of Odisha," BJD youth wing president and Odisha's food and supplies minister Sanjay Dasburma told reporters after youths, women and students wings of the party staged a protest dharna near Raj Bhavan here.

Terming the NDA government's attitude towards Odisha as "anti-people and apathetic", the ruling party decided to stage agitation in all the 30 districts of the state tomorrow.

"The long cherished demand of Odisha for declaration of Special Category State along with provisions of special packages in view of the legitimate claim has been neglected whereas neighbouring states like West Bengal and Bihar have been gifted with Rs 20,000 crore special packages with a narrow political motive," the BJD's memorandum to the President of India said.

Alleging that the development of KBK (Kalahandi- Balangir-Koraput) region have been ompletely neglected, the memorandum said that the Centre has completly closed BRGF (backward region grant fund) and seven centrally sponsored schemes leading to adverse impact on 19 districts including 10 districts in KBK area.

The party also alleged that the 14th Finance Commission recommendations have completely disheartned Odisha as the share of central tax for the state has been reduced to 4.64 per cent from 4.78 per cent. "The state will lose arounf 4,600 crore in five years, the memorandum said.

The ruling BJD headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also alleged that while the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced two industrial corridors from Chennai to Vaizag and Amritsar to Kolkata under Make in India programme, it cleaverly bypassed Odisha.

Though the central budget made provisions for certain heritage cities, it completely forgot to make allocation for the Lord Jagannath's Nabakalebar festival in July this year, which takes place after a gap of 19 years.

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