Naveen digs at Centre for "indifference" to states

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 17 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today criticised the Centre for its "indifferent" attitude to the justified demands of the state governments.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister said such attitude of the Union Government violated the very spirit of federalism.

Mr Patnaik described the submission of draft to the Union Cabinet for approval on November 15 for the approval of National Mineral Policy without taking the states concerned into confidence as ''unfortunate.'' Reacting strongly to the issue, Mr Patnaik said the Chief Ministers of Orissa, Karnataka, Chhatisgarha, Jharkhand and Rajasthan had jointly submitted a memorandum and written separately to the Prime minister several times to discuss the issue with them before finalising the mineral policy, but the Union Government did not give any importance to their justified demands.

He said while other departments of the Central government were taking the states into confidence during formulation of national policies, the decision of the Mining Ministry to ignore the states was creating suspicion among the people, he said.

Mr Patnaik demanded that before finalising the Mineral policy, the Union Government should discuss the issue with mineral-rich states.

The Orissa Chief Minister also wrote letter to his counterparts in Jharkhand, Chhatisgarha, Karnataka and Rajasthan in this regard.

UNI

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