BJD to reiterate special status demand for Odisha in parliament

Bhubaneswar, Feb 21 (IANS) The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Sunday decided to reiterate its demand for special category status to Odisha during the budget session of parliament beginning on Tuesday.

The party will also demand the pending assistance for drought and cyclone Phailin.

“The MPs have been asked to pursue the completion of timely repair and restoration of the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the concerned ministries, release of dues pending towards drought of 2015, cyclone Phailin of 2013, non-release of central share towards completion of five new medical colleges,” Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik said after a meeting of the BJD parliamentary party.

He said modification of the existing rice and wheat allotment ratio to suit the needs of people under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) would also be raised.

BJD MP from Bolangir Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo said the party will demand a special package for Odisha.

“As Odisha has been historically neglected by the Centre, grant of special package and special category status would help the state overcome the inequality in its development,” he said.

On the arrest of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges and alleged inaction by Delhi Police to refrain lawyers from attacking students inside a court premises, Singhdeo said: “The law will take its own course. But we strongly condemn Delhi Police for its inaction in the entire incident.”

He said a proper inquiry can reveal the truth behind the JNU incident.

“We will participate in the debate on the issue in parliament,” he said, adding that they would demand that the authorities act as per law over the JNU incident.

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