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Odisha govt launches new scheme for KBK, Opposition alleges vote bank politics

Bhubaneswar: The State Government has introduced a new scheme for development of undivided Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi (KBK) districts. But the new scheme, Infrastructure Development Fund, is just an amended version of the Biju KBK Yojana.

Under the new scheme Rs 130 crore will be spent annually towards projects relating to water, electricity, road and livelihood.

Before this scheme, Odisha government had earlier decided to set up Tribal Special Development Council in nine districts. Each block in the nine districts, including four KBK districts, will get an allocation of Rs 1.5 crore every year.

“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken a new initiative at every site where the Centre has stopped funding under KBK programme. It is not for political gain, as the funds for KBK districts were scrapped the CM is proving his concern for the districts through action,” said BJD spokesperson Debashish Samantaray.

On the other hand, BJP and Congress have criticised the step saying the government has introduced schemes but has failed to implement it. The parties have alleged that the new scheme is just a bridge to cross the river of elections, specially after panchayat poll results.

“After the recent failure in panchayat polls, it is a plan to lure the people of the districts. The government will gain nothing from it but this kind of political strategy is unfortunate,” said Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi.

“They are presenting election friendly schemes that are not going to be implemented and we will surely protest it. It is just a step to eyewash the people,” said BJP General Secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan.

It remains to be seen when the situation of KBK districts improves amid this political tug of war.

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