Bhubaneswar: The union minister of state for external affairs, VK Singh, Tuesday dismissed the demand for special category status to Odisha. He said that the special category state status has now become irrelevant under the changed situation where the states are now getting higher financial support from the Centre .

The Centre is now providing more funds the state instead of doling out assistance under the garb of special category status, he said.

“It is not necessary to accord such status to a state which is getting 12% higher funds from the Centre than earlier”, he said while parrying away question whether special category state status will be accorded to Odisa as demanded by the Naveen Patnaik government.

Singh, while addressing media persons, criticized the state government for poor performance on development front, “The desired level of development has not been achieved in Odisha and the government, which has been ruling the state for the last 17 years, is answerable for this,” he said.
Stating that the prime minister Narendra Modi is emphasizing on balanced development of state, Singh said, “Development should take place in all the states as their prosperity would lead to overall progress of the country.”

The BJD spokesperson, Prasant Nanda, while pointing out that the BJP in the state had promised special category state status in its 2014 general elections manifesto, said that the saffron party has forgotten the promise after coming to power.