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Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the Panchayat Polls in Odisha knocking at the doors, political parties, particularly the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), got into a war of words on micro blogging site ‘Twitter’ on Friday.

Senior BJP leader and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who is on a campaign trail in Cuttack and Khordha districts targetted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the non-implementation of the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat Yojana in Odisha.



In a tweet, Pradhan said not only the domicile but the migrant population of Odisha would also have got access to quality healthcare in the states they are living in if the Odisha government had implemented the scheme in the State.

However, Pradhan’s tweet was responded with a stern reply from BJD leader Pranab Prakash Das, who tweeted that the Odisha government’s flagship scheme, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) has 96 lakh beneficiaries under its ambit while the Ayushman Bharat has only 60 lakh beneficiaries in Odisha.



Similarly, Ayushman Bharat has a (claim) coverage cap of Rs 5 Lakh at government hospitals while BSKY has unlimited coverage at such hospitals, Das tweeted.

Soon after, BJP leader Basanta Panda went into action mode and accused Das of tweeting against Ayushman Bharat without even knowing facts about the Central scheme.

Meanwhile, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s tweet offering prayers at the feet of Lord Jagannath brought criticism from BJD leader and Odisha Higher Education Minister Arun Sahoo who took to twitter and said, “People know the difference between seeking blessings without service & getting blessed after continuous service.”

BJP’s Lekhashree Samantsinghar responded Sahoo by saying, "People understand the difference between service and misuse of power." She went on to tweet a file (viral) photograph in which Sahoo could be seen resting on the floor with some senior Servitors of Puri Srimandir during the controversial ‘Brahma Bibhrata’ issue in the last Nabakalebara of the Holy Trinity.



It is pertinent to mention here that the much-awaited and long-overdue Panchayat elections in Odisha are due in February 2022.

The State Panchayatiraj department will soon furnish all details pertaining to the Panchayat elections to the State election commissioner.

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