Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha SSEPD Minister Ashok Panda has brought allegations of illegal form distribution and assurance of benefits by some ward representatives of Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi.

Panda alleged that the ward representatives of the Bhubaneswar MP are illegally distributing forms among the street vendors under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) assuring benefits to those who have lost their livelihood due to coronavirus lockdown and collecting documents like Aadhaar cards, mobile numbers and other details from them.

Panda who is an MLA from Bhubaneswar Ekamra constituency said he learnt about the illegal activities from social media.

He said neither the State government nor the BMC authorities have made such announcement of benefit distribution or taken any decision in this regard so far.

“When BMC commissioner met me, I drew his attention in the matter. He said no such directive has been issued by the civic authorities. He termed the act illegal,” Panda said.

He further said that the BMC commissioner has assured him that stringent action will be taken against those involved in the illegal distribution of forms.

Reacting to the allegations, MP Aparajita said, the ward representatives have been engaged to help ward officers in the critical situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic. The ward representatives have been instructed to extend helping hand to the officials handling the crisis, she added.

“As the 3rd phase of lockdown begins, I gratefully acknowledge various selfless services being rendered by hundreds of Karyakartas, Youth & Women organizations & committed individuals to the needy people of my constituency- Bhubaneswar. Let's continue to serve,” Sarangi tweeted in a post.