BJD chalks out issues for upcoming budget session of Parliament
The BJD Parliamentary Party meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here, listed a series of matters concerning Odisha which need to be highlighted during Parliament session.
The MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha attended the meeting here.The Odisha-centric outfit which has 12 MPs in Lok Sabha and 9 members in Rajya Sabha, resolved to raise chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaiks favourite subject like women empowerment in Parliament.
"The chief minister has directed all the MPs to raise issues concerning women empowerment and also the problems linked to Odishas interest," Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Sasmit Patra told reporters after the meeting.He said the BJDs key issues also include demand for hike in minimum support price of foodgrains particularly paddy which is now fixed at Rs 1868 per quintal.
The party has decided to demand a raise in the MSP based on the recommendations of M S Swaminathan Committee, Patra said.The BJDs decision to raise the MSP in the Parliament is also politically significant as the opposition BJP has already launched an agitation in Odisha highlighting mismanagement in the ongoing paddy procurement during the kharif marketing season. This apart, the ruling party also resolved that its MPs will also highlight as how Odisha has been neglected in terms of railway infrastructure development in the state.
Though Indian Railways generate around Rs 15,000 crore per annum from the state, it did not spend significantly for the completion of projects and not taking up new projects.
The BJD MPs will draw attention of the Centre towards this issue also, Patra said.The BJD, which came to power in 2000 by giving a call to fight for the interest of Odisha alone, will this time also make demand for granting special category status to the state, as the coastal state is vulnerable to the natural calamities.
This apart, the state Assembly, which has already passed a resolution seeking creation of a Bidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) in the state, is pending for the central nod.
The BJD MPs will put pressure on the Centre to give its assent to form a legislative council in the state, he said.In addition, the party MPs will also stress on the early completion of the proposed Rs 7,500 crore Coastal Highway project stretching from Gopalpur in Odisha to Digha in West Bengal.
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