Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 24:
The Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD), the youth wing of the BJD launched a dharna in front of the Raj Bhawan here this morning to protest the conferment of special category state status to Seemandhra, the new state created after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh while depriving Odisha of the same despite its longstanding demand for the same.
BYJD activists shouted slogans against the discriminatory policies of the Congress led UPA government at the Centre to achieve its narrow political ends.
BYJD president Sanjay Dasburma told reporters at the dharna site that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is no longer the Prime Minister of the country; he has reduced himself to Prime Minster of the Congress party. He said the prime minister was being used for narrow political ends of the Congress and was following partisan policies of discrimination.
“While the Centre had cited the Raghuram Rajan committee report to decline special category state status to Odisha how come it has awarded the same to Seemandhra?” Dasburma asked.
The BYJD leader said as per the Raghuram Rajan Committee report, Odisha is one of the most backward States and should get SCS status.
He said the BYJD will gherao Raj Bhawan and district headquarters beginning from February 26 and would continue its agitation till special category status is given to Odisha. Claiming that it was not a political stunt for the forthcoming elections, he said the party has been demanding it for a long time.
Apart from BYJD activists, all the three BJD MLAs from Bhubaneswar were seen at the protest site addressing the activists. Also seen at the dharna site were the newly inducted associate members of the party Jitu Patnaik, independent MLA from Champua and Brajakishore Pradhan, independent MLA from Talcher.
However, the Congress maintained that the ruling party should call an all party meeting on the issue rather than playing politics over it.
“When a state gets divided, some packages are invariably announced to the part that is affected by the bifurcation. So, there is no question of neglecting any other state. If the BJD thinks so, the chief minister should call an all party meeting and press the demand before the Centre,” said Congress media cell chairman Narsingh Mishra.
300 court arrest
IANS adds : At least 300 Biju Janata Dal (BJD) activists and leaders courted arrest here Monday to protest the central government’s special treatment of Seemandhra while neglecting Odisha.
Accusing the central government of working on a political agenda, ruling BJD ctivists carried out a procession here, held a public meeting, and staged a demonstration near Raj Bhavan, and courted arrest.
“At least 300 BJD workers and leaders have courted arrest,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Nitinjit Singh told IANS.
The BJD will launch an indefinite “dharna” from Wednesday across the state.