BHUBANESWAR: Targeting Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan for allegedly trying to stop Aahar scheme, the ruling BJD on Sunday said the people of Odisha will give a strong reply to the BJP in the elections.
Pradhan wanted to stop Aahar in 2015 when it was launched by the State Government and diverted funds from the Central public sector undertakings (PSUs) for the scheme to Bihar, from where he was a Rajya Sabha member then, BJD spokespersons Sasmit Patra, Sulata Deo and Lenin Mohanty told mediapersons here.
Stating that central PSUs, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), Nalco and Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) had signed agreements with the State Government to provide funds for implementation of Aahar, the BJD leaders alleged that Pradhan pressurised the PSUs to withdraw from the scheme.While MCL supported the scheme at Sambalpur, Nalco was supposed to provide funds for its implementation in Bhubaneswar. RSP would have provided funds for Rourkela.
However, the scheme could be implemented with funds from the State Government sources and agencies, they said and condemned such an act of the Union Minister.
Besides, they alleged that BJP leaders are constantly violating model code of conduct by participating in panel discussions and giving bytes to the media during the ban period and demanded that the Election Commission of India (ECI) should restrain them from doing so.