BJP pressurising CEO to stop assistance under KALIA Scheme: BJD

Bhubaneswar: Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of pressurising the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in Odisha, the BJD today alleged that the CEO is not allowing the State government to disburse money under KALIA scheme citing violation of model code of conduct.

At a presser, party Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “The action being taken by the CEO is unfortunate and quite surprising. On the other hand, the officer is allowing BJP-led Central Government to disburse money under the PM-KISAN Yojana. This shows his double standard attitude.”

Earlier also, the BJD had levelled similar allegations against the BJP and approached the State Election Commission urging it not to stop the assistance to farmers under the Odisha government’s KALIA scheme, which is due on April 1.

“It has come to our notice that the BJP has been trying to pressurise the Election Commission with an intention to stop the flow of KALIA funds to the farmers of the State… We, therefore, strongly urge you not to feel pressurised by the arm-twisting tactics of the BJP,” read the letter to Chief Electoral Officer, Bhubaneswar. The letter had further mentioned that the BJP should “not be allowed to succeed” in its design to stop the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) assistance to farmers.

Responding to Sasmit Patra’s allegations, BJP state vice president Samir Mohanty said, “It’s their (BJD and CEO) lookout to find out whether anyone is trying to put pressure on him or stopping disbursal of money.”

Odisha BJP vice president Samir Mohanty

Senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi also took a jibe at the BJD stating “They (BJD) know defeat is imminent, which is why they are finding a way out by levelling such charges against the CEO.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha government on December 21, 2018 had announced the KALIA scheme to support small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers in the State.