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Rashmi Ranjan

Coming down heavily on the Centre, the Odisha government on Monday accused the PM Narendra Modi-led government of neglecting the State over the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) scheme.

In a letter to Union Minister Giriraj Singh, Odisha Odisha Panchayat Minister Pratap Jena accused the Centre of ignoring a promise made in May 2019 to Odisha in the aftermath of cyclonic storm Fani for approval of 1.84 lakh houses under the special PMAY-Gramin programme.

“The Centre did not pay heed to the State's demand for synchronisation of data on its rural housing portal with "Awaas+" initiative. However, it approved 25.40 lakh houses to BJP-ruled Karnataka under the scheme and synchronisation of data of the Karnakata government with "Awaas+" programme was allowed on January 13,” Jena charged.

Jena also urged the Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to open the Awaas+ window to incorporate those who were not included in the list of beneficiaries under the scheme.

"Igoring the repeated requests from the state will not support the cause of Odisha and it will further deprive lakhs of tribal beneficiaries living in the scheduled areas of the state," Jena said.

Referring to his discussion with the Union Minister over video conferencing on January 27, and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jena demanded the synchronisation of data of 6.65 lakh households on the state-owned rural housing portal with the Awaas+ initiative.

“The Centre is not doing any favour, it is our right. We have demanded to sanction 6.65 lakh houses under the scheme. In BJP-ruled Karnataka, 25.40 lakh beneficiaries got houses under PMAY scheme. I condemn the step-motherly attitude of the Centre,” Jena stated.

Reacting to the allegations levelled by the BJD, the saffron party maintained that two of its leaders had been killed for opposing PMAY irregularities in the State. The BJP also alleged the Odisha Minister’s involvement in the murder.

“BJD has done massive irregularities in PMAY scheme and murdered the BJP leaders who opposed them. Minister Pratap Jena is involved in the double murder at Mahanga. As many as 17 lakh houses have been sanctioned to the State under the scheme. This is the Minister’s new trick to divert public attention ahead of the Panchayat polls,” stated Golak Mohapatra, BJP State general secretary.

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