Sunday, March 05, 2006
While the decision of the UPA government at the Centre to shift the proposed National Institute of Science (NIS) from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata has brewed stiff resentment in Orissa, prime minister Manmohan Singh, on the other hand has admitted the necessity of the Central institute in the state. Protesting against the exclusion of NIS issue in the budget speech by Union finance minister P Chidambaram in the Parliament, the BJD and BJP MPs onFriday met the prime minister and submitted a memorandum to this effect. Stating that the decision to set up NIS in Bhubaneswar was finalized during the NDA government tenure, the Orissa MPs said that the decision taken by the present government at the Centre to shift the proposed institute to Kolkata has reflected the step-motherly attitude of the Centre towards the state.
After listening to the complaints of the Orissa MPs, Singh said that their demand is totally justified. He promised them to personally take up the matter. The delegation, led by BJD MP Braja Kishore Tripathy, had other members including Baijayant Panda, Brahmananda Panda, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Sugrib Singh, Prasanna Acharya, Prasanna Patsani, Mohan Jena, Pramila Bohidar, Tathagat Satpathy, Surendra Lath, Dharmendra Pradhan, Rudra Narayan Pani, Ananta Nayak, Kharvela Swain and Bhartruhari Mahatab. Briefing newsmen after the meeting, BJP MP Kharavela Swain described the acceptance of the demand of the Opposition by the prime minister as a healthy sign for Indian democracy. It may be mentioned here that there was a statewide students' agitation in Orissa against the shifting of NIS to Kolkata.