New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Sunday reiterated its demand for the establishment of Legislative Council in the state and sought introduction of a Constitutional Amendment Bill during the Monsoon session of the Parliament commencing Monday.
BJD’s Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Prasanna Acharya and Parliamentary Party Leader in Lok Sabha Pinaki Misra placed several demands of the party during an all-party meeting convened by the Union government ahead of the Monsoon session. The all-party meet was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders and ministers.
Misra said that earlier Home Minister Amit Shah had given assurance to the BJD MPs that the Centre would introduce a Constitutional amendment Bill for the formation of a Legislative Council in the state. “However, no step has been taken in this regard,” added the Puri MP.
Meanwhile, Acharya urged the Centre to grant the status of ‘special focus state’ to Odisha. He said the state has been hit by natural calamities more than 80 times in last century and this has been affecting the development of Odisha. He also raised concern over the declining trend of financial support from the Union government under several centrally-sponsored schemes.
Moreover, the BJD leaders raised concern over the reluctance of the Centre regarding rice procurement from the state. Acharya stated that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is not cooperating with state government agencies for rice procurement and demanded that the Centre must procure surplus rice from the state. He also sought release of pending subsidy to the state government.
The BJD demanded passage of Women’s Reservation Bill during the Monsoon session. The regional party further demanded the Centre to provide share of the additional cess collected from fuel and cooking gas to states to help them fight Covid-19 effectively.