If there’s no-trust debate in LS, we‘ll spotlight Delhi‘s apathy, says Naveen

BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister on Monday said will use the debate against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led-government, if and when it is allowed, to highlight the continued neglect of Odisha‘s demand for a special category status.
“Both the UPA and the NDA governments have neglected our long-standing demand for a special category status. We will take up the matter on the floor of the Lok Sabha,” said Naveen, who is also the president of BJD, while responding to a media query on his party‘s stand over the no-trust motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).

Naveen, however, did not clear the air on whether his party MPs will support the no-trust motion or oppose it. BJD insiders though said the ruling regional party with 20 MPs will participate in the debate, it is likely to skip voting by maintaining a neutral stance to avoid being perceived as being aligned to the anti-NDA front on an ‘Andhra Pradesh-specific debate.‘

BJD parliamentary party leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said the party doesn‘t need to take a stand, either for or against the motion, till it is accepted for discussion by the speaker. “Both on Friday and on Monday, some parties created disruptions. The BJD, however, did not create any such scene. Let the speaker bring the House to order and allow the motion first. Only then the question of whether to support or oppose it will arise. The party will take an appropriate decision keeping Odisha‘s interest in mind,” Mahtab told TOI.

The Andhra Pradesh-based parties couldn‘t table their no-confidence motion, which followed the Centre‘s rejection of the coastal state‘s demand for a special category status (SCS), as speaker Sumitra Mahajan had to adjourn the House until Tuesday because of repeated disruptions. The BJP has announced its readiness to discuss any issue.

Odisha has been demanding special category status for the past many years.

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