JAGATSINGHPUR: The local BJP on Friday alleged a scam in distribution of food at free kitchen centres to people affected by cyclone Titli in the district. Raising questions on the role of block officials in food distribution, the BJP alleged that free kitchens have been opened to help the ruling BJD gain political benefits ahead of the General Elections next year.
Vice-president of BJP OBC Morcha Nrusingh Sahoo said though red alert was issued for the district, no damage was reported due to the cyclone. However, the district administration is supplying free food to thousands of people in different villages to help ruling party leaders reap benefits in the upcoming polls.
“Distribution of relief materials including free food in the name of the cyclone is being done to give electoral benefits to BJD. This apart, block officials are misappropriating funds by showing inflated figures of evacuated people in pen and paper,” Sahoo claimed.
OBC Morcha secretary Akahya Swain said only 1000 persons were evacuated from different villages of Erasama block as many people expressed their reluctance to shift to cyclone shelters and relief camps. However, officials have put the figure of evacuated persons at more than 5000, Swain said.
“Funds are being misappropriated by preparing false reports with the knowledge of the local MLA. This is an attempt to help ruling party leaders woo people ahead of the polls,” he said and demanded a probe into the matter.
Contacted, Assistant BDO of Erasama Bijay Ketan Chaudhury refuted the allegations of fund misappropriation and said the district administration has provided free food to 5966 evacuated persons on Thursday. “The administration will conduct an inquiry if the allegations are found to be true,” he added.