Staff Reporter

Announcement on Telangana the trigger

KKD plans to block national highways

Demonstration planned on Dec.23

BHUBANESWAR: Telangana “victory” has renewed separate statehood demand in Western Orissa, which has been simmering for a while, with leaders of the region preparing to hold a series of demonstrations and submit memoranda in support of their claim.

Koshal Kranti Dal, which has been demanding for a separate State “Koshal” by carving out 10 western districts from Orissa, on Friday announced its strategy to give a momentum to the campaign. “We have convened meetings in six districts on Friday. Immediate plan is to block all national highways passing through the region this week. Subsequently we will hold demonstration in front of Raj Bhawan on December 23. We have just launched campaign to collect one lakh signatures in favour of Koshal State which will be submitted to either Prime Minister or Home Minister during last week of January,” said KKD president Pramod Mishra.

He said All Koshal Students’ Union would be in the forefront of the campaign being planned in the region during next two months.

“For past couple of days I have received numerous calls from grassroots level over renewing separate statehood campaign. We will very soon make our action plan public,” said Bal Gopal Mishra, who is a founder member of Koshal State campaign.

The foremost argument being put forth in favour of a separate state is lack of development of the region.

“This is because of the indifferent attitude of successive governments in Bhubaneswar who could think nothing beyond the coastal districts. Formation of the Western Orissa Development Council is an acknowledgement of regional imbalance.

But the toothless organisation has been unable to do nothing,” said Ashok Pradhan, a New Delhi-based journalist who spearheads the campaign at national level. The struggle for a separate State of Koshal was two-decade- old, he said.