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Pradeep Singh

Balasore: Amid the allegations of massive corruption in the State during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ruling-BJD MLA from Remuna Sudhanshu Sekhar Parida has been accused of swindling subsidy amount meant for the purchase of farm equipment.

A complaint has been filed before Odisha Lokayukta against the Remuna MLA. The complainant Tanmaya Mohanty alleged that Nigamananda Associates, the unit which sells farm equipment and owned by the MLA, swindled the subsidy money.

It is alleged that by trapping poor non-farmers and SC/ST beneficiaries, the unit embezzled the Rs 6 lakh subsidy amount government is providing to each beneficiary for the purchase of paddy harvesters which costs around Rs 24 lakh each.

The complainant alleged that the unit has been looting the subsidy amount paid by the State government for the purchase of farm machinery through different means. "We have got all the evidence and I have full faith in Lokayukta," he said.

Mohanty has submitted details of several such 'trapped' beneficiaries and one of them is Naran Majhi of Jashipur in Mayurbhanj district. Nigamananda Associates allegedly first credited the purchase amount (Rs 24.14 lakh) of paddy harvesting machine to the bank account of Majhi and on the same day, transferred the money back to its account.

Later, when the subsidy amount was credited to the account of Majhi, the unit allegedly got the money withdrawn from his account by engaging middlemen.

"I received Rs 6 lakh as subsidy amount but the middlemen transferred Rs 5.4 lakh to their accounts. Later, I withdrew the remaining Rs 60,000 of which they took Rs 40,000 and gave me the rest Rs 20,000.

Meanwhile, the BJP has trained its guns at the BJD MLA with the former Remuna MLA Govind Chandra Das demanding the arrest of Sudhanshu Sekhar Parida.

"The Remuna MLA has cheated and looted the people here. Odisha Chief Minister should expel him and send to jail for stealing people's money," said Das.

Besides, it is alleged that though a vigilance inquiry has been ordered against Parida, no step has been taken in this regard as he is an MLA of the ruling party.

Responding to the allegations, the BJD MLA claimed that a group of people are conspiring against him to demoralise him.

"Subsidy amount of a person can't be embezzled as it is given once to a particular person. Let's law take its own course," he added.

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