As the Congress and BJP step up their campaign against the State Government over the chit fund scam, the BJD is leaving no stones unturned to make its June 12 ‘swabhiman rally’ at New Delhi to demand special category state (SCS) status for Odisha a success.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said he would submit a memorandum carrying signature of one crore people supporting demand of special category status for the state.
“We will submit signature of one crore people of Odisha in support of the special category status to the President of India,” Patnaik told reporters on his return from a five-day visit to the national capital.
Two senior ministers are already camping in the national capital overseeing the preparations, while the party has requested the railway authorities to spare two more trains to ferry cadres to Delhi.
The signature campaign of the party in support of the demand for special category state status to Odisha is going on in full swing. The last public meeting in connection with the campaign would be held near Khandagiri where the document, containing one crore signatures, would be formally handed over to BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Finance minister Prasanna Acharya has also been entrusted with the responsibility of organising the meeting on June 9.
The Chief Minister said that he has apprised deputy chairman of the Planning Commission MS Ahluwalia and other members of the panel about Odisha’s claim for special status. The state satisfies all criteria to get the SCS tag except having an international boundary, he said.
BJD’s rally would follow Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ‘Adhikar’ rally demanding special category state status for his state. Odisha’s rally will mark the culmination of the ruling BJD’s month long campaign launched on April 28 for special category state status.
After the rally, a delegation of party leaders will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and hand him a memorandum carrying one crore signatures in favour of the special category status demand.
On June 10, the trains carrying party workers and supporters will leave for Delhi where a number of guesthouses and dharmashalas have been booked for their stay.
The Congress, however, stepped up pressure on the government to order a CBI probe into the deposit collection scam.
“Of course, we are taking it ( default crisis) very seriously and I think the presidential assent to the Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors Bill, 2011, in future will give some relief to the investors,” said Naveen, who returned here from Delhi today.
“The ruling party is spending more than Rs 20 crore for the Delhi convention and has reserved 20 bogies in six trains to carry its supporters to the national capital. It is a diversionary tactic,” said NCP leader Ganesh Dash.
Congress leader Jaydev Jena, however, felt the Delhi rally was nothing but an attempt to divert public attention from the deposit collection scam.