BJD, BJP vie for rural vote bank in Odisha with welfare schemes

Bhubaneswar: There seems to be a stiff competition between the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to garner support of ‘rural voters’ mostly women in Odisha.

While Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and BJD supremo is directly interacting with the rural masses through video conferencing under the ‘Ama Gaon Ama Bikash’ programme, BJP too has now come up with a similar strategy to connect with the rural areas.

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan today attended Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat programme to interact with the beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana in Odisha.

In the first phase, Pradhan interacted with the nearly 18,000 beneficiaries of Angul, Sambalpur, Mayurbhanj, Jeypore, Berhampur and several other places through video-conferencing today.

“2700 PMLPG panchayats have been set in Odisha and it will be intensified to reach out all beneficiaries,” said Pradhan.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry aims to intensify the LPG Panchayat campaign by extending benefits to more women under the Ujjawala scheme.

Official sources said there are 34 lakh women beneficiaries under the Ujjwala scheme in Odisha.

However, BJD has targeted BJP over rampant corruption in implementation of Ujjwala scheme in the State.

“In a bid to save itself from charges of corruption, BJP has come up with such strategy. But women in Odisha have very well understood that Ujjwala has turned into a suffering for them,” said BJD spokesperson, Sasmit Patra.

Responding to the allegations, BJP spokesperson Samir Mohanty stated that “Be it sapling scam or any other irregularities, BJD is saddled in corruption.”

Mohanty further said that even PM Narendra Modi had also stated that people of the Odisha are suffering due to the corrupt percentage (PC) commission culture in government works.

“Be it Ujjwala scheme or any other programme for women, such tactics will not yield any results for the BJP and BJD,” said Congress leader Sura Routray.