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Naveen Patnaik meets Modi to seek special status for Odisha

Patnaik led a delegation of his party MPs to Modi and discussed issues related to his state and the requirement of central assistance.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | June 2, 2014 3:53:08 pm
Naveen Patnaik described the Congress and BJP as two sides of the same coin. (PTI) Naveen Patnaik described the Congress and BJP as two sides of the same coin. (PTI)

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and demanded special category status for his state as well as other assistance from the Centre but remained evasive on allying with NDA.

Patnaik led a delegation of his party MPs to Modi and discussed issues related to his state and the requirement of central assistance, including in the field of railways. After the 30-minute meeting, he said Modi was “quite positive” to the demands and hoped that the NDA government would treat Odisha better than the previous UPA regime.

During his first meeting with the Prime Minister, Patnaik raised the issue of granting special category status to Odisha and scrapping of the controversial Polavaram project situated on the border between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Odisha fears the project would submerge 130-odd villages in the Malkangiri district and lakhs of hectors of land. The Chief Minister urged Modi to “recognise the genuine concern of Odisha on submergence and flooding of Malkangiri and to halt the Palavaram project”. Patnaik said the state government has already taken the matter to the Supreme Court.

After the meeting, he said he hoped he would get a positive response from the Prime Minister to the demands. “I certainly hope. The Prime Minister was quite positive to our demands,” he said when asked if Odisha will get a better treatment from the Modi government in comparison to the previous UPA government.

Some party MPs quoted the PM as having said to Patnaik that “India can only grow if states grow”. Asked whether his party BJD would ally with NDA, Patnaik was evasive, saying he has not given a thought to it. He added that the issue did not come up during his meeting with Modi.

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