Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday accused the UPA government of selectively allocating funds to states and vowed to fight till Odisha gets the special category status.
"The Congress-led UPA government sanctions funds to different states on political consideration. Odisha is a victim of central negligence," Patnaik told a rally organised by the ruling BJD here.
BJD leaders handed over one crore signatures supporting the Special Category Status (SCS) demand for Odisha to Patnaik at the meeting.
Patnaik said his party would not tolerate alleged central negligence. "We will continue the stir till our demand is met," he said, adding that the successive central governments had neglected Odisha.
Claiming that Odisha meets all criteria except having an international border to get SCS, Patnaik said the state has a large population of tribals, dalits, hills and difficult terrains. Therefore, the Centre must accord SCS tag to Odisha.
"Odisha`s progress could be more effective and sustainable if it gets SCS tag. SCS is not the demand of BJD alone. Over four crore people of the state including tribals also support this demand," he said.
Addressing the meeting, state finance minister Prasanna Acharya and others compared Patnaik with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. "Subhas Bose had given a Delhi Chalo against British Raj. Now Naveen babu has given a similar call against negligence by the Congress regime in Delhi," Acharya said.
Equating Patnaik with Netaji, the finance minister said both leaders were born in the historical city of Cuttack in Odisha.
Besides Acharya, many BJD leaders recalled Netaji`s Delhi Chalo call and equated Patnaik with the freedom fighter.