Ramakanta Biswas

Senior Congress leader and Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja on Thursday lost his cool and lashed out at Bolangir Collector Chanchal Rana for allegedly slashing the funds of various government schemes in his constituency.

Saluja got into an argument with district Collector Chanchal Rana in a packed conference hall at the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) office in the district while attending the Zilla Parishad meeting.      
In a video, the Congress legislator was seen accusing the Collector of slashing the funds being allocated for various development schemes in different blocks in Kantabanji constituency.  

“Who are you to cut the funds? You are cutting our funds and we are accountable to the people,” Saluja was heard saying.  

He alleged that the district administration has cut the funds for the financial year 2021-22. He also accused the district administration of violating government guidelines. 

On the other hand, the Collector was seen trying hard to pacify the Congress legislator. 

Later, speaking to OTV, Saluja said, “The Zilla Parishad meeting which is supposed to be conducted once in three months has not been conducted since long. After seven months, the meeting has been convened finally. Bolangir Collector is violating the guidelines of the Biju KBK scheme which has the provision of allocation of Rs 120 crore. The Collector is diverting funds to other blocks. I questioned him who has given him such power.”

The Collector is also violating the guidelines while constructing schools under 5T scheme, the Congress leader alleged.  

The reaction of the district administration in the matter could not be obtained.

Reported by Manoranjan Joshi, OTV