Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, June 2:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was very ‘positive’ about the various demands of the state during his meeting this afternoon.
Briefing media persons after meeting the Prime Minister along with all BJD MPs, Patnaik said he raised a number of demands with the PM, the prominent among them being the long-standing demand for special category status to Odisha, protection of the state’s interest in the Polavaram project and the overdue revision of mineral royalty.
The chief minister said the BJD delegation also raised the demand for allocation of an additional five lakh BPL cards, allocation of Rs 3, 160 crore for the state in the next Railway budget, imposition of a mineral resource rent tax on the windfall profits made by miners and launch of international flight services from the Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar.
Asked about the possibility of the BJD supporting the NDA government at the Centre, Patnaik said there had been no discussion or thought about that yet. But he hastened to add that his government will have a ‘positive and constructive’ attitude towards the Modi government.
“Our approach will be constructive and positive towards the government at the Centre”, he said.
Patnaik said the question of supporting NDA in the Rajya Sabha, where it does not have a majority, did not come up for discussion during his meeting with the Prime Minister.
Patnaik said the Prime Minister was positive towards the other demands of the state which included revision of royalties on minerals by a minimum of 15 percent, special central grants of Rs 1397 crore for 2015 Nabakalebar festival of Lord Jagannath and the inclusion of Sambalpuri/ Kosali and Ho languages in the eighth schedule.
“It was a courtesy call. A delegation of 24 MPs from the state also met the prime minister,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
( For more details please see the official press release of the Odisha government posted elsewhere on this site )