Mrunal Manmay Dash

Tension prevailed at Tanaga panchayat under Mayurbhanj’s Jamda block after a Jogan Sayayak (Supply Assistant) was seen distributing PDS rice under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s poster.

The villagers reportedly protested the act and asked the Supply Assistant to remove the posters, which he obliged after apologising to them.

Speaking over the phone, BJP OBC Morcha district president, Biju Gopal Das said, “Beneficiaries have been provided cards under the National Food Security Act. The Central government has supplied the rice. The Supply Assistant was giving the beneficiaries receipts of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. But the posters and banners of Naveen Patnaik were put up at the spot.”

“I asked him why he is doing so. He apologised and removed the banners,” Das said.

However, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) district president, Kashinath Hembram termed the complainants as outsiders and said they did not have anything to do with Tanaga Panchayat.

Speaking to OTV, Hembram said, “The people complaining about the posters do not belong to Tanaga panchayat. The rice may be provided by the Central government but the distribution is done by the State government. Even the Panchayat office where the rice was distributed belongs to the State government. So there should be no problem if Chief Minister’s posters are pasted in a State government office.”

“BJP is unnecessarily politicising the matter over the poster issue,” Hembram added.

The BJP including Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan have been attacking the BJD-led Odisha government, claiming that the state government has been hijacking the schemes of the Central government by printing its own photographs on advertisements in a bid to take credit.