BJD, Congress claim credit for decline in poverty in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD and the opposition Congress on Wednesday virtually entered into a war of words over the decline in the rate of poverty in Odisha while BJP and CPI did not accept the planning commission's data which said the state comprised only 32.6 per cent families below poverty line (BPL).
 
"The rate of poverty declined in Odisha because of the different poverty alleviation programmes launched by the Congress led UPA government. The credit must go to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh," said OPCC president Jaydev Jena.
 
Odisha's Panchayati raj minister and BJD vice-president Kalpataru Das, however, claimed, "We have proved it in the state. If central schemes helped to decline poverty, why it (decline ratio) is less in Congress ruled states." 
 
Asked whether the poverty decline ratio in Odisha would not affect the state's demand of special category state status, Das said , the per capita income of the people in less than those states being accorded special category status.
 
Meanwhile, the state BJP spokesman Suresh Pujari rejected the latest poverty rate list released by the planning commission. "People are virtually starving in many parts of the state. It is wrong to claim that the poverty was reduced by 24.6 per cent in odisha," Pujari said.
 
Terming the Planning Commission data as "misleading",' CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak said there was point for the BJD government to be happy over the data. "One should not go by the planning commission data as poverty was still in big proportion in rural parts of the state," he said.
 
Latest data released by the Planning Commission revealed that in Odisha, the proportion of people below the poverty line (BPL) in total population came down from 57.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 32.6 per cent in 2011-12, a decline of 24.6 percentage points.