Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Hitting out at the BJP-led Central government, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today asked the saffron party to refrain from misleading Anganwadi workers and confirm the amount of salary it is paying to the workers in BJP ruled States.

"We have increased Rs 500 in 2008, Rs 500 again in 2013 and Rs 2000 now. What amount the Centre has enhanced in these periods though the programme should be centrally-sponsored? What amount has been increased in BJP-ruled States?" BJD MP and spokesperson Pratap Deb questioned at a press meet here.

"The BJP must come out with the remuneration of Anganwadi workers in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and UP?’' he asked while appealing to the agitating workers to call off their stir and join duty.

"Most of their demands were fulfilled and the government is aware about other demands. They should immediately join duty because important services like vaccination programmes and newborn and mothers' care are carried out by them," he added.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied with such amount of hike, Anganwadi workers and helpers in Koraput district barged into the Collector office’s and demanded raise in monthly remuneration.

Their move came a day after CM Naveen Patnaik enhanced the salary of Anganwadi workers, mini-Anganwadi workers and helpers to Rs 6,000, Rs 4,125 and Rs 3,000 per month respectively.

This apart, the CM also announced that all the staff of Anganwadi will come under insurance coverage for health, life, disability, scholarship and government will bear the premium cost.

He further said all the staff will be covered under the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

CM's announcement came after a group of workers headed by BJD leader Subash Singh met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat on Tuesday while another group continued its agitation at Lower PMG square here.

The agitating group alleged that the BJD tried to create rift among members of the association. However, they said they have accepted the offer but will not withdraw their stir owing to other demands.