Utilisation of DMF for ‘aspirational districts’ in Odisha questioned by BJD, Congress

Bhubaneswar: After the proposal of the Centre to use District Mineral Fund (DMF) for the development of the eight identified ‘aspirational districts’ from Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday lashed out at the BJP-led Central government accusing it of maintaining double standards in its much hyped ‘aspirational districts’ programme.

Targeting NITI Aayog and the Modi government, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said: “The Centre and especially NITI Aayog are regularly changing their plans- having different stands while announcing and implementing a programme. This reflects double standards of the Central government which the people and the government of Odisha are already aware of.”

The aspirational district programme is only a bureaucratic exercise to cheat people, Deb added.

Senior Congress leader Sura Routray on the other hand asked why the Central government promised to give all type of facilities from drinking water to road and infrastructure development in the backward districts if it had already decided not to release funds for the same.

“The Modi government is hoodwinking people of Odisha,” said Routray.

However, Odisha BJP spokesperson Golaka Mohapatra said that crores of money in the DMF is remaining unutilised. “So, if the Centre is suggesting to use the money for the benefit of the people of the backward districts then what is the problem,” he stated.