NUAPADA: Targeting BJP over the unfulfilled promises, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik on Monday made a series of announcements including a provision of Rs 5 lakh loan to women self-help groups at zero per cent interest, if his party returns to power in the State for the fifth consecutive time.
The announcement was made by the Chief Minister at an election meeting here, a day after the BJP promised Rs 3 lakh interest-free loan to WSHGs. “Four and a half crore people of Odisha are my family and I will serve them till my last breath,” he said.
In a bid to woo women voters, Naveen also promised that the BJD Government would provide work worth Rs 5,000 crore per year to Mission Shakti workers. “The Mission Shakti workers will be engaged in mid-day meal, PDS system, paddy procurement, Ashram school management, hospital management, tourism management and supply of school uniforms which will ensure Rs 500 crore per year,” he said.
While addressing another election meeting at Komna during his Nuapada and Kalahandi visit on the day, the Chief Minister stressed on empowerment of women. “Empowerment of women is the true double engine of development,” he said adding that the BJD Government would make provision of Rs 25,000 for the marriage of girls of the poor family.
Naveen announced accident insurance for all members of self-help groups (SHGs). Provision of Rs 7 lakh for women under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana will be raised to Rs 10 lakh. Besides, the BJD Government will also provide free education for girls, he said.
Criticising the BJP Government at the Centre for the unfulfilled promises, the Chief Minister asked what happened to the Bhawanipatna railway wagon factory and where is the hike in MSP for paddy and water to every agricultural field as promised by BJP. “While insurance companies got the heavy amount, the farmers were denied benefits of crop insurance,” he said.
Naveen campaigned for his party candidates addressing two public meetings and participated in a 40-km road show from Khariar to Sinapali in the district by using the specially designed bus for his election campaign. Later, he participated in a roadshow at Bhawanipatna. Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat will go to polls in the first phase on April 11.