Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: More and more questions are being raised over State government's decision to spend money from the contingency fund for implementation of KALIA scheme. As per reports, an amount of nearly Rs 735 crore will be used from the contingency fund for KALIA scheme and the move has been approved by the Odisha Finance department.

Congress has alleged that the State government is using the fund to gain votes during the general elections and termed it anti-constitutional.

"The contingency fund is meant to be used in case of a natural disasters and it can't be used for anything else.  But they are not following the Constitutional guidelines and going against the Supreme Court," senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said.

Similarly, BJP also slammed the State government and called it a political gimmick. "General elections are hardly 100 days away. This is just a political gimmick by the State government, "Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Responding to the allegations of the Opposition parties, senior ruling party leader and Minister Surjya Narayan Patro said, "The State government is spending its own money. Why do they have a problem?"

Meanwhile, the State government is gearing up to transfer the cash benefits to the farmers under the KALIA scheme by January 25. After the receipt of application in the first phase ended on January 15, a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary was held today to discuss the modalities of the cash benefits transfer.

Farmers will get cash benefits under the KALIA scheme on January 25, and the process will be officially kicked off by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during a farmers' convention at Malatipatpur village in Puri. According to sources, nearly 1 lakh farmers are expected to join the convention.

"Chief Minister will attend the farmers' convention on January 25 which will be attended by 1 lakh farmers," Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty said.

On the other hand, Congress has alleged that CM Naveen has deliberately scheduled the program on the same day when Congress President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Bhubaneswar to address a public rally.

"Naveen babu is a copy master but this time Congress will be ahead of BJD," Congress MLA, Debendra Sharma said.