Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday accused the BJP of not keeping its promises made to the people in Odisha on according special category status to the state.
“According special category status for Odisha was the first agenda in BJP’s 2014 poll manifesto. However, the party simply forgot it after assuming power,” Patnaik said while addressing a function here on the occasion of ruling BJD’s ‘Jan Sampark Padayatra’.
Stating that he was “extremely happy” over the BJP’s promise with the hope that people of Odisha will finally get justice, Patnaik said “the hope of the people remained in hope alone and never materialised.”
Recalling how both the BJD and the BJP were fighting for the special category status for the state till 2009 before the alliance broke, he said “our fight for the status will continue till it is fulfilled.”
As Odisha has been encountering with natural calamities almost every year and incurring huge loss, it should be accorded the status, he said.
“Is not frequent natural calamities a strong ground to accord the special category status,” Patnaik asked.
He said the youths of Odisha would have been the biggest beneficiaries had the state being given special category status. “Odisha will get tax rebate if it gets the status. This will bring several industries which will create jobs for youths,” he said.
If there is less financial burden on the state, the government may spend more money on health, education and infrastructure. However, the state has been denied the opportunity as the BJP forgot its promises, the chief minister said.
Therefore, Patnaik called upon the people of Odisha to “remind” the BJP about its promised made in 2014 during the 2019 elections.
Noting that the BJD government believed in work and not in words, Patnaik said that his party had made four promises before the 2014 elections on food security, pucca houses, health assurance and social security. “We have worked on all the promises made to the people in 2014,” Patnaik said.
The chief minister said his government had launched the state’s own food security scheme, Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (a housing scheme), Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (a health scheme) and Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (a social security scheme).
Patnaik said that his government launched these schemes as the central schemes did not accommodate all the needy people in the state. “We have been working hard to make the benefits reach the needy people,” the chief minister said.