Friday, November 25, 2005


Orissa MPs join NIS chorus : Times of India (Bhubaneswar edition) on Nov 25th

Bhubaneswar: Parliamentarians from the state on Thursday joined the
ongoing public campaign against the Centre's decision to change the site of the proposed National Institute of Science (NIS) from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata.

At least 15 Lok Sabha (LS) and Rajya Sabha (RS) members belonging to BJP and BJD staged a dharna outside Parliament against the Centre's move. However, Congress MPs stayed away from the protest.

BJP MP Dharmendra Pradhan said, "We had requested Congress
Parliamentarians to join the dharna in the greater interests of the

Pradhan said the parties were trying to raise the NIS issue in
Parliament. He added, "We have apprised our party high command of the injustice meted out to Orissa by the UPA government. We are also trying to draw support from other like-minded MPs, who feel that the Centre's action is illogical and is a sort of political appeasement".

The BJP MP said the Oriyas residing in New Delhi also strongly oppose the UPA government's action. "We are planning to take a public delegation to the Prime Minister to seek establishment of the NIS in Bhubaneswar. We began preparations for this on Wednesday evening," he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, education minister Samir Dey said the state
requires an institutin like NIS because it had no major educational
centres like IITs or IIMs.

This is the first time that intelliectural from the state have unitedly put pressure on political leaders to raise their voice for an issue that "affects the state's interests". Researchers, academicians and students from both within and outside the country launched a protest campaign soon after the Centre announced that the NIS would be set up in Kolkata.

Lately, MPs and MLAs from the state have been receiving e-mails and
phone calls from various parts of the country asking them to raise the NIS issue in Parliament as well as the Assembly.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has also sent three letters to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh on the NIS issue.

(Rajaram Satapathy)
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