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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of BJP on Friday alleged that the State government has announced to release financial assistance to farmers under the KALIA scheme in order to suppress their protest.

Addressing a presser, State BJP general secretary Golak Mohapatra said the move of the State government aimed at covering up the prevailing discontent of the farmers across the State.

"Farmers are protesting non-procurement by keeping their paddy at mandis and on roads. Besides, there are instances of ministers and MLAs being gheraoed by farmers in the State. In this scenario, this is a despicable act by the State government to suppress the protest," Mohapatra said.

The government announced that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will launch the disbursement of the financial assistance to more than 53 lakh small, marginal and landless farmer families for the year 2020-21 through DBT at 5 pm today.

Mohapatra questioned if the State has over 53 lakh farmers, why it didn't provide the list to the Centre thereby preventing the farmers from availing the benefits of the PM-Kisan scheme. The State has reportedly provided list of only 9 lakh farmers to the Centre.

"The PM-Kisan scheme wasn't stopped after the elections were over and releasing of the assistance to farmers is going on. So far, Rs 2002.33 crore have been given to Odisha under the scheme. However, the State government is reducing the number of beneficiaries," Mohapatra alleged.

"Most of the time, when a beneficiary search his name under PM-Kisan, they get error message 'blocked by the State government'. The State government should clarify how the number of farmers in the State reduced to 9 lakh from 35 lakh," the BJP leader questioned.

Mohapatra further questioned whether the State government has recovered Rs 170 crore it has disbursed by enlisting ineligible farmers under the KALIA scheme.

Comments of the ruling-BJD leaders couldn't be obtained on the allegations of the BJP leader.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)

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