Accusing the Central government of working on a political agenda, BJD activists carried out a procession here in a public meeting and staged a demonstration near Raj Bhavan. They also courted arrest.

"At least 300 BJD workers and leaders have courted arrest," Deputy Commissioner of Police Nitinjit Singh said. The Central government last week granted special category status for five years to Seemandhra.

The BJD leaders said that Odisha has been demanding special category status for the past several years, but the Central government did not pay heed to it. "The special category status it granted to Seemandhra is purely on political considerations," BJD legislator Sanjay Das Burma said.

The BJD will launch an indefinite "dharna" from Wednesday across the state. Senior Congress leader Narsingha Mishra said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should have called an all party meeting to discuss the issue instead of doing politics on the matter.


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