BHUBANESWAR: With the Centre scuttling the move of the Odisha government to co-brand the rural housing scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) with the state scheme -- Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) -- the opposition BJP on Wednesday created a ruckus in the Assembly demanding immediate removal of plaques containing the BPGY logo.
As soon as the Assembly started for the day, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik drew the attention of Speaker SN Patro to the letter written by Union Rural Development Secretary Nagendra Nath Sinha to the state government refusing permission to co-brand PMAY-G houses.
Naik urged the Speaker to direct the state government to remove the BPGY logo failing which BJP members would not allow any transaction of business in the house.
Dubbing the co-branding of PMAY-G houses by the BJD government a deceptive action designed to claim credit for a centrally sponsored welfare scheme, he said the BJP has been protesting on the issue for quite sometime but the ruling party has brazened it out violating the prevailing norms.
“We will continue our protest both inside and outside the Assembly till the state government plays according to the rules and removes the BPGY logo from the PMAY-G houses,” Naik told reporters outside the Assembly.
Even as the BJP continued to protest on the issue, the state government in December last year had directed all Collectors and Project Directors of the district rural development agency (DRDA) to complete co-branding of all the PMAY (G) and BPGY houses by the end of February this year.
"The plaque containing logo of concerned schemes should be affixed on all the PMAY (G) and BPGY houses by end of February 2021,” Director (special projects) of Panchayati Raj and Drinking department Arindam Dakua wrote in a letter.
Enclosing a revised design of the plaque in the official circular, Dakua had said that the co-branding should be undertaken in those houses completed after financial year 2014-15.
Thw move led the BJP to approach Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal seeking his intervention to the deliberate attempt of the state government to mislead the people about PMAY-G in violation of the federal structure.
Recently, a delegation of BJP MPs led by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had also met Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and sought his intervention to the glaring inconsistencies and irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries and use of state government logo prominently on PMAY-G houses.
Earlier, Odisha Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Minister Pratap Jena had told the Assembly that there is nothing wrong in using the ‘Biju’ logo on houses constructed under PMAY as the state’s share in the rural housing scheme comes around 51 per cent (Rs 10,000 incentive) and 56 pc (Rs 20,000 incentive). The state government provides incentive to beneficiaries on timely completion.
Congress members protest power tariff hike
Congress members led by Tara Prasad Bahinipati voiced their protest against the power tariff hike by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission and severely criticised the state government for putting extra financial burden on the consumers, who are yet to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
After repeated adjournments, the Speaker called for an all-party meeting to resolve the tangle. As the opposition members did not allow him to conduct the proceedings of the House in a normal manner, Patro adjourned the pre-lunch session till 4 pm.