Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tore into the BJD government over the 5T initiative, alleging that Rs 500 crore has been spent for its publicity while a scam to the tune of Rs 40,000 crore has been committed through the programme. The BJP demanded recovery for Rs 500 crore from the ruling party. 

Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar, BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal showed documents and alleged, “The 5T was an undemocratic system and it was a political programme. The Election Commission of India has deemed it a political programme and took action. Rs 500 crore was spent for 5T publicity and Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore was spent towards helicopter rides.”

Besides, many meetings were held in the name of 5T and public hearings had been held only for the publicity of the then 5T secretary VK Pandian, he observed.

He asserted that after the model code of conduct (MCC) was enforced, the 5T chairperson was still on the list of officers at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) from March 16 to April 8. 

“This is how the Chief Minister has violated the MCC. Moreover, IAS officer Gopabandhu Das is still in the CMO. He had campaigned for the BJD in the last panchayat elections. When an IAS officer gets into politics, he becomes partisan and he loses his neutrality,” Biswal pointed out.

He asked if Das would be allowed to stay in the CMO. 

However, no comments were received from the BJD.

Also Read | Odisha CM to contest from two migration-hit constituencies; residents least excited!