Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 26:
The Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD), the youth wing of the ruling BJD in Odisha today staged dharnas across the state in all district headquarters protesting against the partisan politics of the Centre in awarding special category state status to Seemandhra for a period of five years while ignoring Odisha’s long standing demand for a similar status.
BYJD activists gathered in large numbers in Brahmapur, Cuttack, Baleswar and Baripada shouting slogans against the step motherly attitude of the Centre towards Odisha while according special category state status to Seemandhra, the new state created after Andhra bifurcation.
The youth wing of the BJD on February 24 had staged a dharna on the same issue in front of the Raj Bhawan here.
However, Union Health minister Gulam Nabi Azad who was here to formally inaugurate the AIIMS-Bhubaneswar refuted the allegation of neglect by the Centre.
In an interview to a local television channel Azad said unlike Odisha, Andhra Pradesh has been bifurcated whereas there has been no bifurcation of Odisha. He said there was nothing wrong in granting special status to a newly created state for five years to help it create its own infrastructure and also build a new state capital.
This cannot be interpreted as an act of discrimination, he asserted.