Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odisha unit of the Congress on Tuesday took a swipe at the BJD dispensation over the allegation of the Bissamcuttack sarpanch that the Panchayat Samiti has prepared its action plan to spend Rs 50 lakhs received under the ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ scheme without her approval and signature.

The grand old party termed it as a plan of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to channel funds for the election. 

Earlier in the day, the Sarpanch of Bissamcuttack, Namita Kulusika alleged that the action plan has been prepared to spend Rs 50 lakh received under the ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ without her knowledge. 

“In my panchayat, the plan to spend Rs 50 lakh received under ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ has been prepared without my permission. When I contacted the block development officer (BDO), he said that he was not aware of it. I will take the matter up with the district Collector and if required, knock on the court’s door,” said Kulusika. 

Taking the matter seriously, senior Congress leader Bijay Patnaik said, 'Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ is Naveen Babu’s initiative to fund the upcoming election campaign. Under this programme, hardly any emphasis is given to any kind of development. The Panchayatiraj system is being sidelined completely. Under this programme, Rs 50 lakh will reportedly be spent in a panchayat. But panchayats have no say on who is spending and on what grounds the money is being spent. This is why the sarpanches and samiti members across the state are miffed.” 

No reaction has been received from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over Patnaik’s statement.

(Reported by Gouri Patra)