Bhubaneswar: Peeved at Centre`s refusal
to grant special category state status to Odisha, Chief
Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday urged Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh to intervene and give the status to it.
"I am totally distressed over the development. This is
most unfortunate that the Centre denies special category state
status to Odisha which houses millions of poor people," the
Chief Minister told reporters here.
Patnaik`s statement came a day after Union Minister of
State for Planning Aswani Kumar informed Lok Sabha that Odisha
was not considered for special category state staus.
Claiming that Odisha meets all criteria for getting
the status except an international boundary, Patnaik said
"this is a clear step-motherly attitude of the central
Odisha has been demanding since 1979 special category
status in the form of resolution passed in the state assembly.
The issue has been raised in different meetings of the
National Development Council and at the time of finalisation
of annual plan of the Planning Commission, Patnaik said.
"All these efforts appear to be futile as the Centre
has turned a deaf ear to this legitimate request of Odisha,"
he said alleging that the successive governments at the
Centre have ignored the state`s interest.
"My government had also presented a memorandum to you
during your visit to Odisha in 2006," Patnaik told the prime
minister in a letter seeking his intervention.
Having very high concentration of scheduled tribe and
scheduled caste people, the state records adverse human
development indicator and high incidence of poverty, he said.
Therefore, Odisha needs to be declared a special
category state, he said in the letter.