Rashmi Rekha Das

There seems to be no end to the political mudslinging between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha over alleged irregularities in the allotment of houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). 

Accusing the state government of depriving eligible people of getting houses under PMAY scheme, BJP activists launched protests in every block across the State on Wednesday. BJP members submitted memorandums to Block Development Officers (BDO) addressing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

A Kendrapada based BJP activist said, “People having BJD connections have found their names in the final list of beneficiaries prepared by the government. Besides, people having huge bank balances and buildings have been chosen as PMAY beneficiaries. As many as 3 lakh ineligible beneficiaries have been allotted houses under the scheme. As a result, genuine beneficiaries are running from pillar to post to get a house. If the government does not include the names of real beneficiaries in seven days, we will intensify our protests.” 

Amid the allegations of the BJP, the ruling BJD has counter-attacked the saffron party on the same issue. 

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra made a scathing attack saying as many as 15 lakh people have been deprived of getting houses thanks to BJP’s conspiracy. BJP had hatched a plan four years back to scrap the central scheme. And chances are there that the Centre will soon scrap the project. If such a situation arises, BJD will provide houses to the needy.

Terming it as black era of Odisha politics, BJD leader Sasmit Patra said, “BJP has plotted a conspiracy and went against the interest of Odisha people to scrap the housing scheme completely. BJD is vehemently condemning it. The Union government has decided not to allot houses under the flagship scheme anymore. Although the Centre is going to scrap the scheme, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government will allot houses.”

BJD leader Srimayee Mishra said, “If PMAY guidelines are faulty, BJP should approach the Centre to rectify the guidelines. If BJD made discrepancies in selecting PMAY beneficiaries, BJP will raise the issue in booth level.”

Reported by Harihar Chand, OTV