Mrunal Manmay Dash

Slamming Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha, Union Education Minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan alleged that the BJD is tired now.

“They (Odisha govt) have lost their ability to think and launch something new for the people which is proved in their hijacking of central schemes,” Pradhan alleged.

Pradhan was at Badikata under Padampur constituency addressing a public congregation when he targeted the State government over its announcement of Rs 5 lakh loan without interest to women SHGs.

“The Odisha govt seems to be an expert in using central schemes in their favour to mislead people. The latest scheme added in the chain is women SHG loans, which is an extension of centre’s Deen Dayal Antyoday Yojana and the Odisha government has just raised the loan amount from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,” Pradhan said.

This is about the centre’s National Rural Livelihood Mission, under which both the Centre and the State provide interest subvention to loanees. However, the Centre pays the lion’s share of it. Recently, Odisha government has raised the loan amount to Rs 5 lakh from 3 lakh, the timing of which has been questioned by the Opposition.

Dharmendra Pradhan further alleged that the Centre/State ratio of the interest waivers have been same throughout and the scheme belongs to central government. But the Odisha government, after hijacking it, raised the loan amount to Rs 5 lakh, only to influence the innocent voters of Padampur, he alleged.

Odisha BJP Vice President, Pravati Parida too slammed the Odisha government over the issue.

Addressing a press conference, Parida said, “The State government is cheating people. When the Centre has already written a letter to the State informing that the interest-free loan scheme be implemented from March 29, then why did Naveen Patnaik not disclose it then? He hid the information till now and as the Padampur bypoll approached, Patnaik announced it as his scheme.”

“The Centre provides an interest waiver between 7% - 11% to women SHGs, while the State gives only 4%. Naveen Patnaik should honestly answer what he has done for women in the last 22 years,” Parida asked.

(Reported By Sanjay Jena, OTV)