Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday criticized Odisha government for allegedly depriving the farmers of the State from benefits of the PM-KISAN scheme.

While unveiling a statue of Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Japa, Jagatsinghpur on the Bharat Ratna leader's 96th birth anniversary, Pradhan remembered the former Prime Minister’s contributions to the nation’s progress.

The Union Minister said Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s commitment for championing development in Odisha was unparalleled.

While addressing the gathering, Pradhan said that PM Modi is sending money to farmers. But Odisha government is yet to submit list of farmers. Initially, the State government had submitted list of 43 lakh farmers and funds were released accordingly by the Centre.

“I fail to understand why the State government is not sending the full and final list for PM -KISAN and is also keen on decreasing the number of farmers. The State government had launched its own KALIA scheme but it is yet to benefit the farmers here,” said Pradhan.

Citing example of Gujarat's Kutch, Dharmendra claimed that it witnessed huge transformation when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the State. The then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee also had announced that funds would never be a hindrance for the development of Odisha.

But the money is not reaching the beneficiaries due to corrupt officers. Recently, a senior forest official Abhaya Kant Pathak was arrested in connection with the disproportionate assets case.

“Powerful officers and leaders in Odisha are indulging in corruption. But a handful of Anganwadi workers or clerks are being put behind bars by the State government to project itself as transparent,” Pradhan added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)