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BJD neglecting farmers, making false claims on KALIA: Chouhan

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday lashed out at the ruling BJD government in Odisha for "neglecting" farmers, and demanded the release of a white paper on the ambitious KALIA scheme.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister also dismissed notions on any special bond between the BJD and the BJP, though the Naveen Patnaik-led party backed the central government on key issues such as triple talaq and Article 370.

The BJP national vice-president, while winding up his two-day Odisha visit, asserted that there is no proposal at present for the BJD to enter the NDA fold.

Chouhan alleged that the BJD government was making false claims about the KALIA scheme for farmers, as there is a huge gap between the number of beneficiaries registered for the programme and those who have got the funds through direct benefit transfer.

"In view of the glaring mismatch, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should immediately bring a white paper on the complete list of farmers who have been distributed money under the KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme," he said.

Under the scheme, a farmer gets Rs 5,000 financial assistance per crop. A farmer's household is entitled to get Rs 10,000 per year for two crops (Kharif and Rabi).

Chouhan also said that under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, farmers are being given Rs 6,000 through their bank accounts, but the Odisha government has failed to provide a complete list of such beneficiaries to the Centre.

He said the BJD government is either "deliberately depriving farmers" of the central programme "fearing" that the credit will go to the Centre, or its claims of providing money to farmers under the KALIA scheme are "false".

The BJP leader criticised the state government for not taking any concrete step in the last 20 years to boost irrigation facilities in Odisha.

"Only 31 per cent of land in the state has irrigation facilities, as the state government failed to launch any major project for the benefit of farmers," he said.

Holding the BJD as well as the Congress responsible for poverty and backwardness in Odisha, he said the ruling dispensation has been unsuccessful in drawing a roadmap for development, despite being in power for the last two decades.

Asked to elaborate on the relationship between the BJP and the BJD in light of the latter backing several measures of the Centre, Chouhan said, "There is no confusion. Our stand is very clear that the BJP is set to fight the next elections in the state on itw own strength."

The BJP national vice-president added that if any political party supports initiatives on issues of national interest, it is welcome.

On the likelihood of BJD's inclusion in the NDA, Chouhan said "there is no such proposal".

To a query on whether a Karnataka-like move was likely in Madhya Pradesh, he said the BJP is not interested in toppling the Congress government in the state.

"We will not take any step that would lead to the fall of the Congress government (in Madhya Pradesh)," the BJP leader said.

Chouhan said there are "internal conflicts" within the Congress, which came to the fore recently when leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Deepender Hooda and others hailed the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

"Congress itself has been responsible for the downfall of its governments in the past because of contradictions within," he claimed.

The firebrand leader was on a two-day visit to Odisha to ramp up BJP's membership drive.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 11 2019. 18:30 IST
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