Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday reiterated the demand for a special category status to the state.
“Special category status to Odisha was in the 2014 poll manifesto of BJP. However, the party forgot its promise after coming to power,” said the Chief Minister while addressing the Jana Sampark Padayatra of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) here.
He said the party will continue to fight for the special category status to Odisha.
“The people of the state will give a befitting reply to the BJP in the upcoming 2019 elections,” Patnaik added.
The Chief Minister said that the youth of Odisha will be more benefited in terms of employment if the Centre accords special category status to Odisha.
Reacting to the allegations, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the Chief Minister is unnecessarily raking up the issue for politics.
“Even though the Chief Minister knows that there is no provision for special category state status after the 14th Finance Commission, he is unnecessarily politicising the matter by raking up the issue during party programmes,” said Pradhan.
The Minister accused the state government of creating bottlenecks in the implementation of several central projects in the state.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra criticised both the Centre and the state governments on the special category status issue.
“I want to remind the Chief Minister that while he was a cabinet minister in Vajpayee ji’s government he himself had claimed to provide special category status to Odisha during a public rally in Ranchi but he could not,” said Mishra.
He said the BJP is a party which always believes in ‘Jumla’ politics and never keeps its promises.