Odisha seeks special status

Bhubaneswar, Nov 24 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday to reiterate his demand to accord special status to the state.

“Although Odisha satisfies all criteria except that it has no international boundary, government of India has been showing its step-motherly attitude to the state in not declaring it as a special category state,” Patnaik said in a statement here.

Earlier Wednesday, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said the government has received requests for the special category status from Rajasthan, Odisha, Goa and Bihar.

He said the government is examining the proposal from Bihar, while others have not been found feasible.

The statement triggered strong protests from ruling Biju Janata Dal, with its leaders staging demonstrations in Bhubaneswar Thursday.

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