Describing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s allegation of Odisha’s neglect by the Centre as “baseless” and a ploy to hide his “inefficiency”, the Congress on Sunday demanded a white paper on central funds released to the state and their utilisation.
“The Chief Minister is misleading people with wrong information on central funds to Odisha. This strategy is aimed at covering the BJD government’s inefficiency,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jayadev Jena told mediapersons here.
The white paper should contain information regarding fund released to the state during the NDA and UPA regimes and to what extent the State Government was able to utilise the funds, Jena said. Criticising the BJD government for its inability to properly utilise huge central funds, Jena alleged that Naveen’s allegation about central neglect was not only baseless, but also misleading to divert people’s attention from a series of scandals like chit fund and mining scams.
The OPCC president said that a CBI probe into chit fund scam could unearth the truth as a number of ministers and ruling party MLAs are involved. He also announced that nobody found involved in the mining scam will be spared.
Jena alleged that due to inefficiency of the BJD government, around Rs 7,001.46 crore in 2009-10, Rs 6,423.15 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 8,439.58 crore in 2011-12 remained unspent in Odisha and returned to the Centre, which had provided the funds to the state under various central schemes.
Referring to a recent study on per capita grants from the Centre, Jena said though Odisha happened to be one of the top receivers of central funds, BJD government in the state had been accusing the Centre of neglect.
The BJD organised the ‘Swabhiman Samabesh’ in Delhi on June 12 just to hide its inefficiency in spending central funds, he alleged.
Demanding a CBI probe into alleged misutilisation of central funds by the BJD government, the Congress on June 11 had staged a dharna in front of Raj Bhavan here.