Food Security Scheme: CM Naveen’s ‘vessel’ is broken, counters Dharmendra

Bhubaneswar: Presenting the difference between BJP-led Central Government’s Food Scheme and Odisha Government’s food security scheme, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today took a jibe at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stating that Naveen has got himself entangled in his own lies.

Two days ago when BJD launched its Jana Sampark Padayatra in Bhubaneswar, Naveen had criticised the saffron party saying Odisha government had to come up with its own food security scheme as many people were denied coverage under the National Food Security Act. Naveen had further stated that the promises of BJP are like empty vessels which make the most noise.

Strongly reacting to the statement, Pradhan today said, “If at all we are empty vessels, at least our vessel is intact. But Naveen’s vessel is already broken.”

“The number of beneficiaries enrolled in the National Food Security Scheme is 3.26 crore with the Centre providing a fund of Rs 5760 crore to the State every year,” he said.

“All these years, Naveen was making tall claims as if it was he who ensured subsidised rice to people of Odisha at Re 1 per kg. On Gandhi Jayanti, Naveen also mentioned that 25 lakh poor people will get rice at the rate of Re 1 a kg, after he launched his own food scheme. But does he have the list of beneficiaries with him?” Pradhan questioned.

He then said, “Facts are quite clear on which scheme is most beneficial for the people as Centre provides Rs 5760 crore a year while Naveen’s government has only fixed Rs 612 crore. As per reports, there is provision to add another 3.5 crore people in the Centre’s scheme.”

Naveen’s claim that the State Government provides fund for the subsidised rice is completely false and this, probably, is the end of his chapter, he said.

Explaining about the regulation of fuel prices after the rates were slashed today, Pradhan mentioned it was due to the fluctuating value of currencies across the world including Indian rupee falling sharply in comparison to the US dollar. He also attributed the rise in fuel prices to the sudden increase in crude oil prices in the international market.

Refuting the charges Food Supply Minister SN Patro said, “Despite being born in Odisha, the way he (Pradhan) is criticising the State government’s scheme which is aimed to benefit the poor is unfortunate.”