Posts filed under ‘Demand of Koshal state’
NEW DELHI: The HRD ministry has given its nod for an IIT, an IIM and three central universities among other institutes for the Seemandhra region which has witnessed widespread resentment over the Centre’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
The ministry has conveyed its decision to the home ministry which had forwarded representations made by different stakeholders to it earlier in response to the GoM on Telangana inviting suggestions on bifurcation of the state.
The decision would be placed before the GoM for consideration, sources in the Ministry said.
The ministry has also cleared an IISER and an IIIT for the region.
The move is aimed at striking a balance between the two regions – Telangana and Seemandhra – as far as establishment of premier institutes are concerned, though the end objective is to ensure that students derive maximum benefit, they said.
Rough estimate suggests an investment in the range of Rs 6000 to Rs 7000 crore for establishment of the institutes in the Seemandhra region.
The ministry’s decision assumes significance as the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh will leave the Seemandhra region without any of the elite higher educational institutes which are mostly concentrated in Hyderabad in the Telangana region.
HRD minister M M Pallam Raju represents the Kakinanda constituency in Seemandhra.
In their representation, various stakeholders had suggested that all central institutions in Seemandhra should be backed by a bill and all national parties should sign it.
“Most of the highly developed educational institutions are going to the state of Telangana. The Centre should immediately grant the above said institutions and they should come into operation within a year,” the representations said.
The spontaneous bandh on August 26 in Western Odisha districts over the demand of a separate Koshala state seems to suggest that the tide is turning away from the BJD. Several senior leaders from the area maintained that the Koshala state demand does not have many followers in the area, but the successful bandh gave a hint on the public anger against the ruling party for ignoring the demand of the Western districts always, including a permanent bench of the High Court.
BHUBANESWAR: The 12-hour bandh call given by various outfits, demanding a separate Koshal state, paralyzed normal life in western Odisha on Monday, even as lawyers in the region continued with their agitation pressing for high court benches.
While road transport came to a grinding halt in most parts, train services were partly affected. Majority of the educational institutions, government offices and commercial establishments remained closed for the day in 10 districts. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state, police said.
“It was a complete and spontaneous bandh as most social outfits, citizen bodies, caste societies and students in the region extended their support to the bandh,” Kosal State Coordination Committee leader Pramod Mishra told TOI.
Activists were seen picketing in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Deogarh, Sonepur, Boudh and Balangir districts. Markets, banks and other government offices remained closed while several heavy vehicles were stranded on highways passing through the region.
The Sambalpur-Puri Intercity was stalled at Sambalpur Road station for about two hours as activists blocked the railway tracks. Trains passing in the region got delayed by two to four hours, sources said. In Bargarh, activists blocked the road by burning tyres.
The bandh evoked mixed response in Rourkela. While Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) functioned as usual, movement of private vehicles in the city was normal. However, educational institutions and markets largely remained closed.
In Bhawanipatna, buses remained off the road as the Kalahandi Bus Association supported the bandh. However, government schools and banks remained open. Market and business establishments downed shutters in most parts of Kalahandi.
Meanwhile, advocates continued their stir seeking HC benches in their respective areas. In a meeting convened by Sambalpur Bar Association (SBA), all political parties resolved to boycott the urban election if the State Election Commission starts the nomination process again during the indefinite agitation period. “The political parties have resolved not to field candidates during the agitation period even if the election commission re-notify dates for the civic poll,” SBA secretary S S Sahu said.
(With inputs from Sambalpur, Rourkela and Jharsuguda)
Even as several outfits have launched a full-fledged campaign seeking separate Koshal state following the Telangana development, the intellectuals and academics of Sambalpur remain divided on the touchy issue.
A seminar organised by Press Club of Sambalpur witnessed divergent views with some speakers favouring formation of smaller states, while many others opposing the idea. The seminar was titled ~ Small State and Path of Development.
Well-known economist Prof Dr Dillip Kumar Panda, who was formerly with Gangadhar Meher College, argued that there is no relationship between the size of a state and good governance.
“If it can provide good governance, a bigger state can fulfil the expectations of the people. On the other hand, several smaller states have miserably failed to deliver. The states of the north-eastern region and also those which were carved about a decade ago bear testimony to it,” he said.
“Small size of the state cannot guarantee solution to all problems,” he added.
Dr Panda said that corruption and casteism remain the prime hindrances on the path of development of a state.
“A drastic reform in governance mechanism and change in the mind-set of those at the helm of affairs is the need of the hour as it can bring development to all,” he said.
He pointed out that the primary duty of the government is to maintain law and order, and then to concentrate on development and nation building.
“In a democratic nation, the government needs to be more sensitive towards the problems of its citizens. When it fails to do so, the very purposes gets defeated irrespective of the size of the state,” he noted. Dr Panda maintained that it is not always prudent to blame the government for every ill plaguing the people.
Another speaker Mr Bhagabata Prasad Nanda, however, sought to differ from the views expressed by Dr Panda, while pointing out that smaller states are rather better means for development of the people.
A staunch supporter of the separate statehood movement, Mr Nanda pointed out that several regions continue to languish in negligence and only formation of smaller states can ensure their development. “Have not many localities developed after the bigger districts were divided and smaller districts were formed? The same logic is applied to the case of states,” he said.
Leaders of different political parties including the Congress, BJP and CPI
put forth their views on the matter.
The president of the Press Club, Mr Prafulla Kumar Dash, chaired the occasion. It was attended by the club secretary Mr Rajaram Padhee and former president of Sambalpur bar association, Dr Pramod Rath and others.
Demanding a separate Koshal state comprising western Odisha districts, activists under the banner of Koshal Kranti Dal (KKD) today staged a rail roko agitation here.
As a result, express, passenger and goods trains remained stranded at various railway stations, official sources said.
“We have already requested the state and Union government to take immediate steps for formation of Koshal state,” KKD president Upendra Mohapatra said.
Bhubaneswar-Bolangir Intercity Express and a goods train were detained at Sambalpur Road station for some time by activists along with students here.
Howrah-Jagadalpur Express was stranded for some time at Bargarh as slogan shouting agitationists squatted on the railway tracks.
Similar demonstrations were staged at Bolangir and Jharsuguda railway station affecting the traffic.
“The rail roko agitation was successful and people from all walks of life spontaneously participated in it,” said KKD president.
Earlier on Saturday, rasta roko agitation was held in 10 districts on national highways and state highways linking Western Odisha, said Mohapatra.
This was a lively debate. Expect few leaders everyone spoke within the scope of the topic. Otherwise, now day TV debates are often turning brawl and theatrical stage. I observed that all most all leaders spoke in Kosli language. They should also use Kosli language in assembly; so that people of western Odisha will understand them. The discussion was about health, education and human resource development in western Odisha (Balangir and Kalahandi Medical college, AIIMs and other centrally funded institutes); industrialization; pollution in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda belt; KBK issues, Dadan sramik; malnutrition; starvation death; unemployment; Gadjats; feudal mentality of political leadership; and Kosal state demand.
People of western Odisha feel alienated because their voice is not heard by the mainstream Odia media. Thanks to the Kanak TV for providing a platform to people of western Odisha (although one speaker was accusing the organizers about the choice of the title and divide and rule policy).
Following is report is from the Sambad:
If western Odisha is neglected like this, we will not hesitate to divide Odisha and break away: Gregory Minz
Congress MLA Gregory Minz created an uproar when he abstained from voting in the last Rajya Sabha elections defying party diktats. Here in Khola Katha with Manoranjan Mishra, he explains his position and talks about his future plans for the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections.
Q. When your party and the people of the entire state were looking at you with the faith that our representatives will behave in the most judicious way, why did you behave like in such a manner which sullied the image of entire political class? Why did you behave in such a fashion?
A. This is all about the game of spreading canards in politics. I had no other reason than a personal one to remain away from voting. I was supposed to return on 16th. But the flight was cancelled due to heavy rains. Even on 17th I could not catch the flight as I got stranded in the traffic. A special chartered flight was arranged which brought me here.
Q. Who had hired the chartered flight for you?
A. It was my party. The High Command asked me to reach here anyway. So I came.
Q. It was said that you tried to hide in the airport and you were not interested to come out?
A. This is a wrong message. I had tried my uttermost to reach in time. It was my misfortune that I could not reach in time. I am very sad for what ever happened.
Q. Were you contacted by the BJD or not?
A. No. My appointment with the doctor was fixed earlier. I was supposed to admit my wife and come back.
Q. But your party persons do they believe you?
A. I cannot help it if they do not believe me. Had it been the case then I would not have come back on 17th. I tried my level best to reach in time but failed.
Q. But your own men do they doubt you or not?
A. They will doubt and doubt definitely.
Q. What did you explain before the Narasingha Mishra Committee?
A. I have told everything before the committee. What ever had happened actually?
Q. Have you been exonerated by the Narasingha Mishra Committee?
A. I have not received anything in writing. But I was asked over the phone to work for the party in the panchatyat election.
Q. Who asked you?
A. It was Jagdish Tytler.
Q. Jagdish Tytler, is he aware of entire issue?
A. I have personally narrated the entire issue to him in writing as well as told him the thing personally.
Q. But your problem was so acute that you had to go on that date and you could not have waited for two more days?
A. The appointment with the doctor was already fixed. I had to go at any cost as I got the appointment after waiting for a very long time.
Q. Nobody from the BJD had really contacted you?
A. No, no one had approached me.
Q. So many MLAs were contacted and offered money? But you were not… how come?
A. I am a disciplined worker of the party. All these baseless allegations are hurled at me unnecessarily. I am in the party and working for the party. I am prepared to do whatever the High Command wants me to do.
Q. Was it right to put up Tara Patnaik as the candidate?
A. Look, I have to obey the decision of the party.
Q. But what was your personal choice?
A. I will say that some one from the tribal community should have been sent to the Rajya Sabha. We have been neglected continuously. The man should have been from Western Odisha since the state collects maximum revenue from Western Odisha. Still it is the most neglected part of the state. Revenue collected from Western Odisha is being spent for the development in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. We don’t like it. We have been demanding for a bridge over river Brahmani for a long time where as fly-overs come up in Bhubaneswar daily. We say that give us at least fifty per cent of the revenue collected from Western Odisha and we will not ask neither the Centre nor Odisha government. Our money will be spent for the development of our areas.
Q. Did you raise all these things when Tara Patnaik was put up as the candidate?
A. The candidature was decided at the highest level. No meeting was held to discuss the issue.
Q. So, you think that the problem cropped up because the decision was taken at the highest level?
Q. I will categorically state that the MLAs should be definitely consulted to take any such decision.
Q. So you revolted as the decision was trusted upon you?
A. No I did not revolt. I could not come due to my personal problems. Why should I disobey the decision of my party being a disciplined worker?
Q. Whom would you have voted for had you been able to come in time?
A. Definitely to the man decided by the party.
Q. But did you not feel disheartened by the party’s decision? The party is favouring an industrialist and not any one from Western Odisha?
A. I will discuss all these if ever I get an opportunity to raise these things in the party. Still, I want to warn that if Western Odisha is neglected like this, we will not hesitate to divide Odisha and break away.
Q. When you came to know that Shivaji Majhi of your party and Bhimsen Choudhury from BJP were facing charges of horse-trading and the CD had already arrived, did not you think that it had opened a black chapter in the state’s political history?
A. Definitely. When I came to know that two others had not come for voting I realised that the same charges would be treated against me as well. But I was unfazed for ultimately truth prevailed and I was not suspended.
Q. Do you believe in the Shivaji Majhi CD?
A Look, one man’s voice can be tampered in the recording. The truth will come out after the probe. I have no other comments.
Q. But how do you feel when you hear that one MLA of your party has taken money?
A. Such charges will be levelled at you if you are in politics. You cannot go ahead if you break down. But I don’t believe it. If the people of his area support like the people of my area support me than I have nothing to say.
Q. But will the charges loose significance if the people support you?
A. The people are not fools. They can make out what is what.
Q. It is time for another RS election. Will you stay put in Bhubaneswar or will you go away to Mumbai?
A. I will be the proposer of the man this time my puts up as its candidate.
Q. But will your party men believe in you? An influential group in the party believes that you already have indirectly joined the BJD and one of the vulnerable MLAs for horse-trading?
A. The party will definitely believe in me. For, despite the use of money and muscle power by the BJD, I was able to ensure the victory in two ZPs and that of two Chairmen in the last election. And I don’t know what horse-trading is all about?
Q. But horse-trading takes place in politics or not? Have you been approached by anyone in tenure as MLA?
A. No one has ever approached me. Nor has anybody ever told me that this man is distributing money.
Q. So you believe that there was no horse trading and whatever others are belling is the truth?
A. Look Bhimsen Choudhury had told in his area that he cannot vote for the Congress candidate.
Q. And what about Shivaji Majhi?
A. I cannot tell anything about him. But Bhimsen is my neighbour. He is a staunch opponent of the President of his party. I guess that could be the real reason.
Q. Who are those persons in the BJD with whom you have good relations?
A. I have good friends in all the parties be that BJD or BJP or any other party. Political rivalry is a different thing. I go to even Naveen Patnaik with the problems of our areas. My relations with him is very good.
Q. And with Pyari Babu?
A. Not so much. I go directly to the chief minister.
Q. Did you ever talk to Tara Patnaik before the elections?
A. We were being contacted over phone by some senior leaders where as he should have talked to us directly and that too in a joint meeting. It does not look nice also to vote for someone not knowing the man personally.
Q. Will vote for Tara Patnaik if your party again puts him up as the candidate?
A. Yes, I will vote for the candidate who is finalised by the High Command of my party.
Q. For you, what comes first, your conscience or the party?
A. Party comes first.
Q. What is the difference between the playing field and political field?
A. There is not much of a difference. We preferred to play attacking when I was playing and I continue to play attacking game in politics as well.
Q. But is the Congress able play the attacking game?
A. I didn’t believe in groupism in politics. In the just concluded election the BJD won not because it is popular but because it abused both money and muscle power.
Q. What is your take on the personality of Naveen Patanaik?
A. He is most welcome. He listens to everyone. But I am not speaking for the heck of politics, but he is not able to do much for the development of the state.
Q. And about Pyari Mohapatra?
A. I don’t know much about what is happening in that party. I don’t disrespect any senior politician. But what I will emphasise is the fact that for the development of the state we all must have to when the demand arises rise above the party level.
Q. One last question. Can you vouch that in the ensuing RS election you will not be lured by money power and vote in a disciplined manner?
A. Definitely. I am here in politics not to earn money. I want to work for the people and want to see that the benefits of development trickle down to the lowest level.
(Contact Manoranjan at: firstname.lastname@example.org)