Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Sunday slammed the State government over reports quoting Chief Electoral Officer's (CEO) posers to Odisha Government over the absence of beneficiary list and no clear-cut budgetary allocation for the KALIA scheme.

Pradhan alleged that BJD-led government has cheated the people of Odisha by neither making adequate budgetary provision nor having a proper benefiary list.

The Union Minister further added that while KALIA scheme is a welfare scheme, the ruling-BJD is using it as a campaign tool to grab votes ahead of the elections.

Questioning the role of CEO Surendra Kumar, Pradhan said while the Election Commission raised questions on the advertisements of Centre’s Ujjwala scheme, why it has not objected to the KALIA scheme.

A delegation of the saffron party moved the CEO urging his intervention to direct State govt to stop implementation of KALIA scheme. Party State Vice President Samir Mohanty and Lekhashree Samantasinghar among others accused ruling party of not publicising final beneficiary list of scheme even after enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.

Apart from accusing DIG Intelligence Asish Singh of pressurising officers to ensure victory of BJD candidates during the upcoming elections, the saffron party also claimed that mining companies are still distributing mobile phones to members of Biju Yuva Vahini despite enforcement of MCC.

Reacting to Pradhan’s comments, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, the BJP is conspiring to stop implementataion of KALIA scheme. Now 20 lakh farmers of the State will give a befitting reply to the saffron party for neglecting their interests, he added.