Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Sunday sought introduction of a Constitutional Amendment Bill during the winter session of Parliament beginning on Monday for formation of a Legislative Council in Odisha.
Odisha's ruling party placed the demand at an all-party meeting convened by the Centre in New Delhi ahead of the winter session of Parliament, BJD Parliamentary party leader Pinaki Mishra said.
A resolution has already been passed in the state Assembly for setting up a legislative council, the Lok Sabha member from Puri said. There will be reservation of seats for women and
people belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in the proposed Legislative Council, said Mishra, who attended the government-convened all-party meeting in Delhi.
However, opposition parties slammed the ruling BJD's move saying it was aimed at rehabilitating party leaders. Odisha BJP president and Lok Sabha member, Basant Panda said instead of focusing on developmental issues, the BJD seeks establishment of a Legislative Council as it wants to "rehabilitate" its leaders.
A Congress leader alleged that the council formation has no meaningful use to the people of Odisha and it is meant for meeting the political agenda of the ruling BJD.
BJD Spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP, Sasmit Patra said the party will raise a number of issues including non-inclusion of tourist places from Odisha in the list of 17 Iconic sites in the country during the parliament session.
According National Heritage Festival tag to Bali Jatra of Cuttack and introduction of a direct international flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai are among the demands that BJD would raise, he said adding the party MPs will raise issues keeping the interests of Odisha in mind.
Apart from Polavaram project issue, BJD parliamentarians will seek steps for increasing banking and telecommunication coverage, expansion of National Highways in the state, he said.
The party will also press for introduction and passage of Womens Reservation Bill as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is keen to ensure true empowerment of women, he added.