Centre-State in face-off over slashing of kerosene quota

Bhubaneswar: In an apparent face-off between Odisha government and Centre over slashing of kerosene quota, BJP has asked the State to check black marketing of the essential commodity before demanding for more while ruling BJD alleged the cooking gas under Ujjwala scheme is being distributed at party level only and not the eligible beneficiaries.

The State  alleged that Centre has cut 36 per cent of the State quota this year. ” 62,112 kilo Litre kerosene have been allotted to State, which is short of 36,336 kilo litres” Food and Civil Supplies minister Sanjay Dasburma said, demanding early restoration of the State quota for the interest of people.

However, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan claimed that Centre is providing 24 litre per family, which even includes Governor SC Jamir and CM Naveen Patnaik. He said that 40 per cent families are connected with electricity and LPG while remaining 60 percent are availing kerosene under State quota.

“If we distribute 2.48 lakh litres kerosene among 60 lakh people, each one would get 40 litre. I don’t have any complain on it. The State government should distribute the subsidised oil among people. The oil is meant for poor people but this is being diverted to black market”, added Pradhan.

BJP demanded the data related to the distribution of kerosene in Odisha. “We want data from the State government on the remaining 60 per cent kerosene. Then only everything will come out. To whom, the State is giving this part? This is just a drama being enacted by BJD in order to suppress the black marketing”, BJP’s Golak Mohapatra said.

BJD, on the other hand, said LPG connection programme under Ujjwala scheme has turned a party affair of BJP. “Slashing kerosene quota in the name of providing cooking gas is very unfortunate. Moreover, the gas is also distributed at their party level”, Sameer Dash, BJD Spokesperson, said.

Former food minister and BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb also reacted strongly to Pradhan’s statement dubbing him as liar. “He should refrain from making statement like CM, Governor are availing 24 litre subsidised kerosene. Otherwise, BJD would give befitting reply in future”.

Deb further stated that being a union minister, Pradhan should give prestige to his chair and his party. But, he has proved himself as liar, Deb criticised.