BJD focus on women voters; Naveen promises doles in party manifesto

Nuapada: Eyeing women voters ahead of the crucial polls, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik today tried to strike a direct chord by stating that girls and women have always remained a top priority for the State government.

While addressing a public meeting at Nuapada, Patnaik stated that women are the real double engine of development. Moreover, the party has given prominence to women and girls in its manifesto for the 2019 elections.

“We will hike the financial assistance to women under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) from Rs 10 lakh from existing Rs 7 lakh,” said Patnaik.

Patnaik also promised that his party would provide free education to girl students from KG to college and for medical and engineering as well. A marriage assistance of Rs 25,000 will also be provided to poor families.

Besides, several sops for Mission Shakti members and other women self-help groups (SHG) have also been promised. Loan up to Rs 5 lakh at 0 per cent interest will be provided to SHGs while Mission Shakti members will be engaged in tourism, hospital management, paddy procurement and other sectors, Patnaik added.

BJP vice president Samir Mohanty said,”BJD is trying to show its commitment keeping in view the upcoming polls.”

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) vice president Arya Kumar Gyanendra termed Naveen’s announcement as a poll gimmick.