Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that a massive scam worth Rs 40,000 crore has been committed by the state government during the Covid period in various projects in municipalities, NACs and Municipal Corporations in Odisha.

Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, BJP leader Manoj Mohapatra launched a scathing attack on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government, terming it a 51 PC (percentage commission) government. Mohapatra asserted that such a PC government has been exposed by a local fund auditor.

“In the period between 2020 and 2022, while people were going through a harrowing time facing the deadly virus and they were confined to their homes, the BJD government was on a plundering spree. At that time panchayat elections were underway. The party was looting the Covid funds in various projects. Rs 40,000 crore was stated to have been spent for various projects during the Covid period, but utilization certificates of the fund have not been submitted,” he said.

“Now the BJD government would be hoping for another Covid period which would provide it another chance for a looting spree when people will be suffering,” he observed.  

The BJP leader added that penalties worth Rs 400 crore have been imposed on all the block administrations for scams and irregularities.

Even massive irregularities have been committed in the Covid projects in the Hinjilicut assembly constituency, the home turf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Mohapatra added and warned that the BJP take up an agitation against the scams at the block and the panchayat levels.

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“The BJP demands an answer from the BJD government on who have pocketed Rs 40,000 crore. The ruling party should inform people what they are going to do for the return of the funds,” he added.

No reaction from the BJD was received.