Pradeep Pattanayak

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday intensified its attack on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-ruling dispensation for not implementing the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) scheme in Odisha. 

A war of words has ensued between the ruling BJD and the Opposition BJP as the Odisha government is yet to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central government to implement PM SHRI in the state even though Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thrice. 

“They fear that their votes would go to the BJP if they implement the Central government’s yojanas. But the people have now understood everything and they will give them a befitting reply in the coming days,” alleged Opposition chief whip & BJP Leader, Mohan Majhi.      

On the other hand, senior Congress leader Jayadev Jena said, “I can’t understand why the BJP and the BJD have been engaged in slugfest. In the state, the education has gone haywire. The government should accept the yojana and help in the development of the education system in the state.”

When asked, the secretary of the School and Mass Education Department Aswathy S said, “That (PM SHRI) has not been implemented in our state. It is being analysed.”

Political analyst Rajaram Satpathy said, “If the central government’s yojana is implemented, the money the state government is spending on education could be utilised in other schemes or yojanas. But that is not the aim. The aim is to create a perception that people should believe they are doing everything.”

Under the scheme, which was started on September 7, 2022, a target has been set to establish over 14,500 PM SHRI schools across the nation. The Union Ministry of Education will start releasing funds once it receives the list of schools from states.

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