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Pradeep Singh

The announcement of series of welfare packages by the ruling BJD government in the last two days in Odisha is just a plan to sway public support in its favour for the upcoming Panchayat elections, alleged the State Congress on Wednesday.

Mincing no words, senior leader and Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra said, “All these recent announcements are part of the ruling party's plan to buy votes and they (BJD) have been successful in this for long.”

He further said that the BJD seems to be engaged in giving alms to people and buying votes instead of thinking about the development of Odisha.

Odisha BJP vice-president Bhrugu Baxipatra also came down heavily on the BJD government and said, “Whenever election comes, the ruling BJD announces a plethora of schemes and there is nothing new in the recent developments.” 

However, the BJD has rubbished the allegations stating that any assistance through a scheme is meant to help the people of Odisha and political parties should avoid politicising the welfare initiatives that are in the larger interest of people.

"All these announcements and assistance under the different schemes are just routine affairs and it has nothing to do with politics," said BJD MLA Debi Mishra.

Recently, Odisha government released Rs 350 crore for disbursement of Livelihood Assistance of Rs 1,000 to eligible beneficiaries of public distribution system (PDS) in 30 districts under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) in view of prevailing Covid situation.

On Tuesday, the government also announced that the beneficiaries of Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) will be allotted Rs 3000 while those who have failed to get house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) will get Rs 5000 to carry out repairs of the houses.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today also announced establishment of Mission Shakti Bhawan in all the districts and of the State and allowances for expenses for visits and meetings of EC members of Mission Shakti. A total of Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for the same.

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