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BJD dusts off special tag issue to counter Congress move


OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 7

With the 2014 elections coming closer, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) once again has pitched for special category state to Odisha in an attempt to corner the Congress party. Days after the Congress announced that it would hold training programmes for party workers at the revenue division level, the ruling party has decided to hold mass dharnas at district headquarters across the state on August 12.

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“Even though we organized a convention at New Delhi and collected over one crore signatures in the state supporting special tag to the backward state Odisha, the Centre is yet to pay heed to our genuine demand. So, we have decided to hold a mass protest on August 12 at district headquarters protesting the dilly-dallying attitude of Centre,” said BJD vice-president and Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya at a press meet at party office here.

Another vice-president and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das said that while the Centre had promised in the budget session that it would bring changes in the criteria for granting special status, the changes were yet to be effected.

“Where is the committee’s report prepared by Chief Economic Advisor of Prime Minister? The Congress leaders in the state were saying that the Centre has already made it clear that it is considering the demand of state. But, what happened to the promise of Centre?” asked Das.

The party also accused that the Centre of always adopting a step-motherly attitude towards the state in every sector. The BJD leaders also said that the MPs belonging to the ruling party would raise the demand for special tag to Odisha in the Parliament.

The Odisha Congress has decided to organize three training camps of workers at RDC level that will be held on August 17, 24 and 25. While many senior leaders will attend the camp, some Central Ministers are expected to take part in the workshops.