Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged large-scale irregularities in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), the flagship housing scheme for the rural poor, reiterating that actual beneficiaries are deprived of the benefits.

On Thursday, a delegation of the saffron party met Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal at the Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to him alleging massive irregularities in the implementation of PMAY in the State. The delegation has sought his intervention with regard to the alleged irregularities in the selection of PMAY beneficiaries in Odisha.

Speaking against corruption can invite death, and the murder of former block Chairman of Mahanga Kulamani Baral allegedly for raising voice against rampant corruption in PMAY is a glaring example of that, the BJP has alleged, adding that the central scheme is being hijacked by Odisha government.

State BJP chief Samir Mohanty said, "The flagship programme promising ‘housing for all’ by 2022, is not reaching the actual beneficiaries. PMAY is being robbed, and those who raise their voices against such corruption are being murdered. In such a critical situation in the State, lives of many poor people are getting hammered. We have therefore apprised the Governor to intervene."

There are also allegations of irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries, wherein BJD government is accused of picking up party members as PMAY recipients while the actual beneficiaries are left out. Further, it is alleged that officials are seeking favour for grant of a house under PMAY.

Launching a scathing attack on the ruling BJD, National Spokesperson of the BJP Sambit Patra accused Naveen government of showing a step-motherly attitude towards PMAY beneficiaries. He said, "A government is like a mother to the citizens. Its prime responsibility is to treat every person with equality so that none is deprived of their basic rights. However, the Odisha government is behaving like a step-mother, and what ultimately happens is BJD workers or those in favour of the party are selected as beneficiaries."

"In every district, you will find people living a life of penury with no roof over their head. It is PM Narendra Modi's dream to provide a pucca house to every poor family, but Odisha government is posing hindrance to the growth of the State. We will continue fighting for the rights of these poor people," the senior BJP leader said.

In response, State Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Das has asked the BJP to come up with the list of leaders who they think are involved in corruption. "They are alleging corruption in PMAY, but they should name the ministers and MLAs who according to them is mired in corruption. We will then launch a probe to find out if there is any truth in the allegations."