Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will raise the demands for special category status, revision in mining royalty rates and push to pending railway projects when he meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday afternoon.
Naveen, who is in New Delhi since last week, is slated to meet Modi at 12.15 Monday with all the 20 Lok Sabha and four Rajya Sabha members of the party. Incidentally, Nave-en’s meeting with Modi comes a day ahead of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s meeting with the PM.
Leader of BJD Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha, Bha-rtruhari Mahtab said Naveen will raise the issue of special category status for Orissa, an old demand that was routinely rebuffed by the last UPA government. Naveen would also reassert Orissa’s objection to Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project as it threatens to submerge 130-odd villages in Malkangiri district. The state has already moved the Supreme Court in this regard.
Apart from those two demands, Naveen will also seek a raise in mining royalty rates, pending for revision since 2012. With 140 of the 170-odd iron ore and manganese mines closed in the aftermath of the mining scam, the state’s revenue is expected to take a major hit. Naveen will also urge the PM for more budgetary allocation to the pending railway projects in the state and and request him to review the decision regarding implementation of the National Crop Insurance Programme.
Regarding speculation of BJD joining NDA, Mahtab sa-id his party will approach the meeting with a positive mind. “We expect the PM to reciprocate our gesture,” he said.