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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Every third person in Odisha is poor. The startling revelation has been made in a fresh Niti Aayog National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report.

The Niti Aayog report has placed Odisha on the ninth spot among all states in the country mentioning that it has 29.35 pc of population which is multidimensionally poor.

The same report makes Bihar with 51.91 of the state’s population living under poverty, the poorest state in India. Similarly, the southern Indian state of Kerala emerged as the least poor state with only 0.71 pc of its population living in poverty.

The report has given the Opposition fresh fodder to attack the Naveen Patnaik government. While the BJP targeted Naveen Patnaik by terming it ‘long term yet failed government’, the Congress slammed the State government of failing to uplift the lower rungs of the society.

Speaking about Odisha’s place in the poverty index, BJP leader Bibhu Tarai said, “Though the Naveen Patnaik government has ruled the State for 22 years, it has failed to implement all government schemes. They could not create employment opportunities, as a result of which, Odisha languishes at ninth place in the index.”

Similarly, former Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader, Ranjib Biswal said, “The welfare schemes of the government are not reaching the lower levels of the society. I know the State government will deny, but it is a fact that corruption has reached all the Panchayats and blocks of Odisha and it is the primary reason why Odisha is so poor.”

No Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader was available for comments on the subject.

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