Mrunal Manmay Dash

The women's wing of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday staged dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar protesting alleged plan of the BJP to discontinue Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme in Odisha.

The protest was led by Rajya Sabha MP, Sulata Deo and Bhubaneswar Mayor, Sulochana Das among others.

Sulata Deo alleged, “Eight BJP MPs had met Union Minister Giriraj Singh to submit a representation to stop the Awas Yojana in Odisha. They should be ashamed about the fact that they are depriving the poor of their rights.”

“Fifteen lakh homes is our right. The BJP has deprived us of our rights. We have come here to demand the same,” she asserted.

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed the protest as an attempt to divert attention from the deteriorating law and order situation in the State.

“The Modi government has approved approximately 28 lakh homes under Awas Yojana. Despite that, widespread irregularities in execution of the scheme are reported from across the State. Lakhs of beneficiaries in Odisha are still without a roof over their head only because of the incompetence and insensitivity of the State government,” said, BJP’s Lekhashree Samantsinghar.

In January this year, the Centre had sanctioned 9.59 lakh units of houses to Odisha under PMAY. However, the BJP has been at loggerheads with the State government over identification of eligible beneficiaries for the scheme. The BJP has been alleging that many houses under the scheme have been swindled by leaders and workers of the BJD without eligibility.

(Reported By Chandan Paikray, OTV)