BJD Backs President’s Speech, Throws Questions Over Odisha’s Long-Standing Demands


New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday gave a thumbs up to the President’s speech in the parliament, but cropped up several basic demands before the Centre and sought a reply.

Participating in the Motion of Thanks on President’s address in the Parliament, BJD MP (Rajya Sabha) Sasmit Patra said it is a matter of pride for every Odia as an Odisha daughter has held the highest constitutional position. But, Odisha’ s development and interest are also equally important for the State.

Referring to President Droupadi Murmu’s speech over women empowerment, which she described as a foremost work of the government, Patra questioned the pending Bill pertaining to women reservation.

Patra said the Bill is pending for the last 10 years. The BJD and its president Naveen Patnaik has been demanding the passage of the women reservation Bill, but to no avail, he pointed out.

The Bill should be passed during the tenure of Murmu as tribal woman president. The BJD will be the first party which would come forward on the day when the Bill would be presented, Sasmit said.

The President today outlined the poor people’s welfare in her address, but why the Centre stopped the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana?, he asked.

Poor people used to get 10 kg of rice, 5 kg each under PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and National Food Security Act. However, it is a matter of concern that a poor beneficiary walk along a distance of 10 km to get only five kg rice, the MP rued.

The parliamentarian also demanded pucca houses to 7 lakh beneficiaries of Odisha as promised by the Centre.

When would the farmers of Odisha get proper MSP? When should 169 communities be included in the list of scheduled tribes? When the Centre would slash 18% GST on kendu leaves, Patra asked.

The BJD MP also reiterated Odisha’s demand for special category state status.

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