Central Government selected eight backward districts of Odisha to accelerate developmental activities including Dhenkanal among the list of eight.Backwardness and forwardness have no such specific logic but in the relative calculation many districts were ignored which are far far backward then Dhenkanal. Meeting the Colletors of these 115 districts the Prime Minister of India made a lot of tall promises to transform these districts within 2022.How ever the big question is, whether the districts selected for this mission are really deserving or there is some political motive behind this mission. The Prime Minister said that regional imbalances should not be allowed to increase indefinitely. Therefore, the development of backward districts is imperative.
If we look at the sector wise developmental index of Odisha, Dhenkanal is relatively developed district in compare to Deogarh, Sonepore, Boud, Gajapati and even to the coastal district of Kendrapada.
In the agriculture and allied sector Gajapati,Nuapada,Boudh,Deogarh and Jhharsugada are on the bottom line in the Gross District Domestic Product(GDDP) index.On the other hand the development of Dhenkanal district is substantial due to Rengali dam irrigation project which is flouting a major part of Dhenkanal and government has invested a lot for the irrigation network of this district by utilizing the Brahmani water.
In the Industrial GDDP again Malkangiri,Nayagarh,Deogarh,Boudh and Sonepore are the bottom-line districts and Dhenkanal is in a quite higher rank.Even the rail network of this district is well connected.
In the services sector also Nuapada,Malkanigiri,Deogarh,Sonepore and Boudh are the bottom-line districts,where as the position of Dhenkanal is substantially higher.
In all the economic parameter backwardness of three districts are common ie.Deogarh, Sonepore and Boudh,again all the three districts are also LWE affected districts.
The districts selected by Government of India are Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Gajapati and Dhenkanal. Center will directly monitor the development of these districts through some Odisha cadre IAS officers now under deputation.
The most backward regions under KBK like Nabarangpur, Sonepur, Nuapada and non-KBK backward districts like Boudh and Deogarh have not found a place in the list of 115 backward districts covered under New India Mission. Though political parties like BJD are condemning this action as against the federal behavior, the selection of districts are looking politically calculated. It seems 2019 elections is in the mind while taking this decision. Dhenkanal is the home constituency of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.In the last Panchyat elections and even during last general elections the position of BJP in Dhenkanal Parliamentary segment was not encouraging which could give a safe passage to Dharmendra Pradhan in the coming Parliamentary or Assembly elections.A make over mission is required to strengthen the Position of BJP in Dhenkanal,targeting Pradhan as the Lok Sabha Candidate. Bolangir and Kalahandi are also prospective seats for BJP and the performance of the party was satisfactory during the last Panchayat Elections.Instead of selecting deserving districts, Government of India has selected prospective districts helpful for winning BJP in 2019. To strengthen the position in these grooming areas, BJP has some aggressive plan to consolidate its electoral prospect in the tribal belt of Odisha.