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Union Minister Vaishnaw Puts Odisha’s Fears On 5G At Rest

The Odisha government felt slighted recently when the Union Telecom Ministry did not include Odisha cities with regard to the pilot run of 5G services to be initiated in 2022. These cities, restricted to 13, were chosen on the basis of their economic returns for the telecom operators and on this criteria the entire state of Odisha was left out.  Miffed, several opposition political parties wrote to Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw over disparity in selection criteria. Vaishnaw, a seasoned bureaucrat turned BJP politician knows that he owes his present position to chief minister Naveen Patnaik who endorsed his candidature to Rajya Sabha on a BJP ticket three years ago. Given his earlier connection with Odisha as an IAS officer, he did not want to be seen as serving narrow political ends with regard to the 5G roll out plan nor create a proverbial storm in a tea cup of ministerial high handedness. This explains why Vaishnaw clarified that Odisha will be included in the 5G first phase launch. His decision to include Odisha in 5G expansion was greeted with jubilation not merely by the Odisha government and people as well.