Alleging that BJP has been trying to pressurise the Election Commission, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday approached the State Commission urging it not to stop the assistance to farmers under the state government's KALIA scheme.
"It has come to our notice that the BJP has been trying to pressurise the Election Commission with an intention to stop the flow of KALIA funds to the farmers of the State...We, therefore, strongly urge you not to feel pressurised by the arm-twisting tactics of the BJP," read the BJD's letter to Chief Electoral Officer, Bhubaneswar.
The letter further stated that the BJP should "not be allowed to succeed" in its design to stop the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) assistance to farmers which is due on April 1.
The Odisha government had launched the KALIA scheme on December 31 last year to expedite growth in the agriculture sector and reduce poverty. Under this scheme, Rs 10,180 crore will be spent over three years until 2020-21 to provide assistance to cultivators and landless agricultural labourers.
Earlier in the day, BJP too approached the Election Commission. Its state vice president Samir Mohanty said, "Employees of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Cuttack Municipal Corporation who works under state government have removed legal hoardings. We have told CEO Odisha that free and fair elections in the state are not possible if the administration continues to work this way."
"They don't remove hoarding of BJD which is paid by exchequers. They remove hoardings which are paid by our party. We do not have any problem if they remove illegal hoardings," he told ANI.
The state has 21 Lok Sabha seats where elections will be conducted in four phases scheduled on April 11, 18, 23 and 29 respectively.
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