BHUBANESWAR: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is all set to intensify its demand for special category state status for Odisha after two ministers of the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) resigned from the Union Ministry over the issue.
The demand for SCS status for Odisha is a long standing one with the Janata Dal and then the BJD reiterating it in every election manifesto. The regional outfit had also gone to the streets several times over the issue though the Union governments have always ignored the demand. However, BJD’s leader in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab on Thursday said Odisha will intensify its demand if the Centre grants special category state status to Andhra Pradesh.
The Cuttack MP said, “Odisha has been demanding special category state status since long. If the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh gets the status, we will make our demand more vocal.” “The demand has not been pressed by Odisha for some time due to the 14th Finance Commission. However, granting the status to one State and neglecting another is not fair.
Any bias of the Central Government in this regard will not be tolerated,” he said. Mahtab’s response came after ruling TDP of Andhra Pradesh threatened to come out of the NDA after its demand of a special category state status was rejected. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently reiterated the demand during a meeting with NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar at the Secretariat here.