Orissa Assembly opposes Shibu Soren's division of state

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 26 (UNI)The Orissa Assembly today unanimously passed a motion not to allow the division of the state or merger of any of its districts with any other state.

Participating in the debate on the motion, members cutting across party lines, resolved that not an inch of the state would be allowed to be carved out and unity of the state would be maintained at all costs.

The motion was moved by Government Chief Whip Bikram Keshari Arukh on last Thursday in the wake of JMM Chief Shibu Soren's demand to carve out three districts-Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundergarh from Orissa to form the greater Jharkhand in lieu of the support of his party to the Congress led UPA government at the centre during the Confidence motion in July last.

The house also passed an amendment moved by Deputy leader of opposition Narashingh Mishra on the issue.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described the demand of Shibu Soren as ''dangerous and anti-Orissa''.Concerned over the JMM demand people were organising demonstrations.

Mr Patnaik said the Congress at state level was opposing the division of Orissa but at the centre the party was supporting Mr Soren and made him Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister said let the Prime Minister make a one line statement saying the state would not be divided and no districts of the state would be merged with any other state.

Mr Patnaik said the let Congress leaders of the state get a oneline statement from the Prime Minister that Mr Soren's demand was not acceptable and Orissa would not be divided.

Leader of opposition J B Patnaik however said that JMM's demand was not a new one and they have been demanding it for the last forty years.

He said the argument that the Congress Party would fulfill this demand of the JMM as it had fulfilled some other promises made was not correct.

The Congress leader also criticised the government for making a hue and cry over the Shibu Soren's demand but keeping mum over the BJP's demand to divide the state a few months back.

Mr Arun Dey (NCP) suggested to form a House committee in consultation with the leader of opposition and the leader of the house. The Committee, he said should meet the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister and try to obtain a statement from them that the state would not be divided.

Participating on the issue which spread over two days, most opposition members alleged that the ruling party was trying to make a non-issue an issue keeping the coming election in view to get political mileage out of it.

But the treasury bench members said they apprehend that the Congress might divide the state as it was fulfilling the demands of the political parties one by one who had extended them support during the trust vote as a precondition.

The JMM leader Bimal Lochan Das alleged that the ruling party neglected the districts during its rule and was raising the issue now to divert the attention of the people.

He warned that a tribal movement would take shape and the state would be divided if the government continued to neglect the districts and did not initiate steps to correct the regional imbalance.

Earlier initiating the motion Chief Whip Bikram Arukh alleged that the JMM and Congress have joined hands to divide the state which would not allowed at any cost.

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