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Naveen’s cheap rice to create an ‘army of idle’ people: JMM

Baripada: A day after Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad termed Odisha government's cheap rice scheme as a "political move", JMM today said it would create an army of idle people from among the poor and working classes.

"This cheap rice scheme will drag the poor people into further poverty and turn working class docile and lazy," JMM state president Sudam Marandi told reporters here.

Marandi, a former MP, was reacting to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's January 26 announcement that the poor people would be provided with rice at the rate of Re 1 per kg.

Marandi's statement also came a day after Azad termed the cheap rice announcement as a political move to win vote and support of the poor people.

"Re 1 a kg rice is not at all his (Naveen) sympathy for poor, but for politics and votes. There is more politics behind cheap rice than sympathy and concern for poor," Azad had said yesterday at Cuttack.

Supporting Azad's statement, the JMM leader said that consequences of the scheme was dangerous as people would refrain from hard work and become dependant on the cheap rice for their survival.

The state government should instead create job opportunities for the poor and working classes to enable them to earn their livelihood by working hard, Marandi said adding that tribals believe in hard work.

Terming Patnaik's announcement as a poll gimmick, Marandi said it was an easy way out for the Chief Minister to cover up his government's failure in providing jobs to poor.

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