BJP demands white paper on Covid-19 fatalities in Odisha

Says Odisha should follow others states and revise its death figure

Published: 20th June 2021 09:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2021 09:47 AM   |  A+A-

COVID deaths, coronavirus death, cremation, funeral

Image used for representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  Accusing the State government of under-reporting Covid-19 deaths, the BJP on Saturday demanded a white paper on the number of people succumbing to the deadly novel coronavirus since its outbreak in Odisha.

In a joint letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, nine BJP MLAs alleged that the government has been misleading the people by hiding the actual data on Covid casualty. Describing the suppression of fact from the public as a cognisable offence and a crime against humanity, the BJP law makers said children who have lost their parents to the pandemic will be deprived of the government welfare schemes for orphans.

“Coming under severe criticism from media over under-reporting of death figures, the government has increased the number of casualties. Odisha should follow others states like Maharashtra and revise its death figure taking into account the cremations done as per Covid guidelines across the State,” the letter said.

Demanding compensation to the families of Covid deceased, Opposition Chief Whip in Odisha Assembly Mohan Majhi said, “Odisha is the first State in the country to announce Covid-19 as a disaster under Disaster Management Act, 2005. The government should announce ex gratia for the families of the deceased as done by Assam, Bihar and Rajasthan governments.” Coming down heavily on the government for ignoring repeated requests of the Centre for implementation of Ayusman Bharat Yojana, Majhi said Odia people mostly migrant workers living outside the State are deprived of the scheme.

The Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana could not be implemented outside Odisha because of its inherent weakness and lack of resources, he added. “The State government must implement the Ayushman Bharat Yojana without further delay and the money saved from BSKY should be better utilised to improve the health infrastructure in rural areas and posting of doctors and other paramedical staff,” he said.

Cong extends support 
Bhubaneswar: Congress legislator Suresh Routray on Saturday supported the BJP’s demand for a white paper on the number of deaths in the State due to Covid-19. Routray said Congress had raised the issue in the last Assembly session and demanded a white paper on the issue. “Besides, I had given a memorandum to the Chief Minister mentioning the names of 3,200 people who have died of Covid-19 in Khurda district. If 3,200 people died of the virus in Khurda district, you can imagine the number of death in other districts.” However, BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty dismissed the allegations by saying that BJP and Congress are doing cheap politics over a pandemic.

Protest over power tariff hike today
Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar district unit of BJP will raise voice against the stiff hike in power tariff through virtual mode on Sunday. Hike in power tariff twice within a gap of six months has hit the people hard. The tariff hike of 20 paise per unit in September last year and another dose of 30 paise increase per unit in March came when the people are under lockdown and fighting for survival due to the pandemic situation, said BJP Bhubaneswar district unit president Babu Singh. The silence of the government is baffling when it has been announcing series of Covid packages for different sections of the population. Instead of protecting the consumers, the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has been trying to protect the interest of a private company, Singh said. The saffron party, which staged demonstration in front of OERC office in March shortly after the issue of tariff orders for 2021-22, has decided to register its protest against the hike in the State Capital through virtual mode. “We will intensify our agitation in the coming days if the government fails to intervene and file a review petition demanding withdrawal of the tariff hike,” Singh said.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • chandrasekaran

    Ask UP
    6 months ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp