Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 10:
Ruling BJD today termed Niti Aayog vice-chairperson Arvind Panagariya’s statement with regard to special category state status (SCSS) for Odisha as unfortunate.
“The NITI Aayog vice-chairperson’s statement that there is no justification in according SCSS to Odisha in the present scenario is extremely unfortunate. This is a longstanding demand of ours. We will continue with our demand till it is achieved. Our state has a large population of adivasis, has forests and hills and fulfills every criterion for a SCSS. Our state should be declared as special category state. We will continue with our struggle till we achieve it,” said Pratap Jena, BJD spokesperson.
The BJP on the other hand, has called ruling BJD’s demand for SCSS under the present scenario as a mere political stunt.
“In the 14th Finance Commission each state was given a hike of 10%. We were getting 32% and now we are getting 42%. It was decided that states can plan according to their requirement. States are getting lump sum amounts. After the constitution of the NITI Aayog there is no need for special category state status, which is what Panagariya has told the Chief Minister during his meeting. Nobody can stop the BJD from politicizing the issue and go for an agitation,” said K V Singhdeo state BJP president.