KALIA Under SC Scanner: Notice to Odisha, 2 States For Launching Schemes Ahead of 2019 Polls

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: In a major development today, the Supreme Court has served notice to the Centre, Chief Election Commissioner, Odisha, Andhra and Telangana governments based on a petition filed by one P Pulla Rao of Telangana. The notice was reportedly issued acting on the petition questioning the constitutional validity of announcement and implementation of direct cash transfer benefit schemes prior to the announcement of 2019 election schedule.

Reportedly, the schemes in question include KALIA scheme introduced by Odisha government, PM KISAN Yojana, Rythu Bandhu, Mukhyamantri Krushi Udyog Yojana and others implemented ahead of the crucial polls.

Seeking an intervention into this, the petitioner approached the Apex Court and urged to initiate necessary action against the same. After the SC accepted his proposal, Pulla Rao said, “The system has become corrupt and several states as well as the Centre have used public money to buy votes from the people by announcing cash benefit schemes prior to the elections. Therefore, I moved the Supreme Court order in order to fight against such a system.”

Rao’s counsel Sravan Kumar said, “Distributing money to farmers and labourers through direct cash transfer schemes ahead of the elections is unfair. My client has moved the Apex court seeking its intervention to stop this ill practice.”

Welcoming Supreme Court’s move, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “Supreme court has given the notice after observing that implementation of such schemes was not valid. Election Commission had initially asked the State government to not implement KALIA scheme but as it had soft corner for the Centre it didn’t stop any central schemes.”

While BJP criticised the State government over timing of implementation of KALIA scheme, it demanded reviewing the legal aspects of PM-KISAN Yojana.

“By announcing schemes like Biju Yuva Vahini and KALIA, the BJD-led government tried to fool the people of Odisha,” BJP MLA Bishnu Chandra Sethi said.

On the other hand, State Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo said that only after reviewing the decision of the apex court, a statement will be issued by the State government.