Vikash Sharma

Even as the deadline to file an objection against ineligible beneficiaries whose names have featured as beneficiary lists under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) ends today, many people are not coming forward to file objections at several places in Odisha.

As per reports, the places where people are coming forward, the designated place where the box has been kept to file objections has been found to be locked. Under such circumstances, the demand for an extension of the deadline to raise objections against ineligible households has gained momentum.

It is pertinent to mention here that the BJP has targeted the Odisha government soon after it made the provisional list of beneficiaries. The saffron party alleged that several people have been left out, and the state government was attempting to benefit BJD supporters while preparing the list of PMAY beneficiaries.

Earlier, the Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department had displayed the provisional list of 9.5 lakh beneficiaries under the scheme. It was stated that if any ineligible household's name is found in the list, people can file an objection against the particular ineligible household. On receipt of the complaint, necessary action will be taken.

“To create its own vote bank, the state government has allotted houses to its own people,” alleged Bibekanand Patel, a resident from Puintala.

BJP general secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan said, “We will send warning letters to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from 314 blocks. BJP will subsequently gherao all the 314 block offices on January 31, if steps are not taken to address the issues.”

According to Harichandan, the party will also move court and centre over such irregularities.

Odisha Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said, “The state government has maintained transparency. There are reports that people are not coming forward to file objections out of fear. For such cases, people can also file complaints through email or through phone.”

Meanwhile, the BJP has also threatened to launch block gheraos for an indefinite period if such irregularities are not rectified within seven days.

“It is the Odisha government’s job to delete ineligible beneficiaries. The state government is trying to create unrest in villages and the BJP is opposing such move. We will gherao blocks and as well as the state assembly,” Harichandan added.

(Reported by Harihar Chand)