BHUBANESWAR: With the Election Commission of India (ECI) unrelenting over BJD’s plea to allow disbursal of KALIA assistance to farmers, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik sought to take the matter into his own hands and approached the Commission in person on Tuesday.
Turning up at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar for the first time, he voiced his concern over the restrictions and accused the Commission of acting in favour of the Centre. The restrictions have deprived the farmers of the State of the much-required assistance, he stated.
“I had come to see the CEO and lodge a strong complaint with the election office over stopping our Government’s KALIA scheme for farmers,” Naveen told mediapersons after meeting Kumar.
Making an oblique reference to EC’s go ahead to PM-Kisan Yojana, he said, “This is most unfortunate as they haven’t stopped the agricultural scheme of the Central Government.” Naveen said the scheme is important particularly during this season when the farmers of the State require those funds desperately.
The BJD supremo slammed the BJP for opposing KALIA scheme and said farmers of the State will give a befitting reply to the saffron party during this election. “I am disappointed to see that the BJP had complained to the Election Commission about KALIA scheme. The farmers will give them a befitting reply,” he said.
The ruling dispensation in the State has planned to disburse KALIA aid to around 25 lakh more beneficiaries under the second phase.
Pradhan moves CEO
BJP leader and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan complained to the CEO that some officials in Naveen’s home turf Ganjam are behaving like BJD activists. He alleged that during his visit to Ganjam, he saw some local BJD activists with the help of local administration were terrorising people in Chikiti and no mechanism was in place to maintain law and order. Pradhan submitted a list of sensitive booths BJP has identified in the State for first phase polls and asked the CEO to take measures in this regard. He further said KALIA scheme has been put on hold as BJD has failed to provide the list of beneficiaries under the scheme to the Election Commission and make budget provision for the scheme.