Congress threatens gherao over distribution of ration cards

Berhampur: Congress today alleged that there was a large scale irregularities in distribution of digital ration cards under National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Odisha and threatened to gherao all panchayat offices across the state over the issue on December 11.

“We have decided to take up this burning issue to the gram panchayats. Party supporters will gherao all 6,200-odd gram panchayats across the state to protest irregularities in distribution of ration cards,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Prasad Harichandan, told reporters here.

He said the programme was decided at a meeting of the district committee presidents and office bearers of the OPCC.

A large number of poor families in different districts, who deserve to be covered under NFSA, are deprived of ration cards. On the other hand, the rich families, who were not eligible under the food security Act, have got the digital ration cards, the PCC chief claimed.

“Though the state government is implementing the Act enacted by the Centre in 2013, it excluded genuine beneficiaries from the programme,” he said.

“We demand that all the eligible poor families should be covered under the programme,” Harichandan said.

Harichandan, along with AICC Secretary (Odisha) Subhankar Sarkar and several senior Congress leaders, were here to attend the party’s ‘Jagaran Padayatra’ held from Adapada to Sanakhemundi.

Prasad said the party had launched its padayatra against the “anti-people” measures of the state government on September 10 in Bargarh district, where AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi took part.

The party has also highlighted the farmers’ suicide issue in the padayatra.

Claiming that agriculture and farmers were most neglected during the BJD rule, he said the government has not created additional irrigation facilities during last 16 years.

Holding Naveen Patnaik government responsible for the present situation in which farmers are committing suicide every day, the PCC president said the state government has admitted about the crop failure in 174 blocks in 25 districts.