Self Help Groups level serious allegation against State govt over ‘Mission Shakti’

Puri: Some members of the Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Brahmagiri block in Puri have accused the State government of operating ‘Mission Shakti’ programme on the basis of allegiance to the ruling party.

The women members have claimed that as per the direction of the Brahmagiri MLA Sanjay Das Burma the Mission Shakti programme is being carried out in the block. Besides, they also alleged that office bearers of the Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) were selected on the basis of party affiliation and reference of Burma.

“In Brahmagiri block, under the Odisha livelihood mission (OLM), wives and relatives of sarpanch and samiti members are selected as office bearers. Therefore, if someone wants to work in an SHG, she has to be a slave of the MLA,” alleged Sasmita Sahu, president of the Shaktirupa SHG during Mission Shakti convention on Saturday.

Some others alleged that the women SHGs are forced to work under political pressure.

“The women in the State are in distress. Whatever is happening is under pressure,” stated Nirupama Das, a resident of Brahmagiri.

On the other hand, BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi alleged that the State government had asked authorities to provide seed money to SHGs by October 15 but there has been a delay of three months. Sarangi also raised questions on the number of SHGs in the State.

Meanwhile, OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik said the ruling party is trying to buy votes by providing financial assistance. “CM wants to give Rs 1,500 every woman member of the SHG and is trying to garner vote with through that,” Patnaik said.

Expressing similar views, BJP leader KV Singhdeo said, “Keeping polls in mind, the Chief Minister is trying to win over women voters.”

Declining the charges, BJD spokesperson, Sameer Das, said, “Information on the government schemes is available on the website. The allegations are being made to mislead people of the state.”

Despite repeated attempts, comments from the Brahmagiri MLA could not be obtained.