BHUBANESWAR: National convener of BJP membership drive and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday slammed the BJD government for depriving people of the State of the benefit of Central schemes including Ayushman Bharat.
Questioning the motive of the State Government of launching KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme when it has failed to provide irrigation facility to farmers, Chouhan demanded a white paper from the ruling BJD on the number of farmers benefited under this State scheme.
“Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, farmers will get `6,000 credited to their bank account. Why is the Naveen Patnaik Government not providing the list of farmers to Centre?” he asked.
If Odisha Government has really provided monetary assistance to farmers under KALIA scheme, there is no point of the State giving a list of only nine lakh farmers to the Centre. This has created suspicion in the mind of people about the BJD Government’s claim of providing KALIA assistance to over 51 lakh farmers. Chouhan said, “The BJP demands a white paper from the State Government so that people will know who are the beneficiaries of KALIA.”
Lambasting the State Government for not implementing universal health care programme Ayushman Bharat, the senior BJP leader accused the ruling BJD of not implementing Central schemes intentionally as it fears the Centre will take away the credit.
He also criticised the Government for its failure to meet the Swachh Bharat target while other States are way ahead of Odisha. Though the State Government claimed to have constructed toilets in over 87 per cent households, this in not visible at the ground level. A thorough probe into the toilet construction will expose the Government, he said.
Responding to several queries on BJP-BJD relationship in view of the regional party’s support to the Centre on all contentious issues and BJD gifting a Rajya Sabha seat to the BJP, Chouhan said, “We are not with BJD. We will fight the next election alone and defeat the BJD.”
He said there should not be any confusion on BJD support to the NDA Government on important issues. “We are seeking support from all opposition parties on issues of national importance. The BJD is among other parties who have been supporting us in some issues. This should not be construed as a secret understanding,” he said.
Reacting to the appointment of Sonia Gandhi as interim president of the Congress, Chouhan said the people of the country have rejected dynasty and caste politics. The Congress will become increasingly irrelevant if it continues to pursue family politics.