BHUBANESWAR: The BJP on Saturday got into a war of words with the ruling BJD over the latter’s demand to include landless farmers and sharecroppers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan).
A day after BJD MLA and party secretary (organisation) Pranab Prakash Das advised Union Minister Dharemendra Pradhan for extending the PM-Kisan to landless farmers and sharecroppers as has been done under the State sponsored KALIA scheme, the BJP said the State scheme turned out to be a farce after the elections.
Launching a scathing attack on the BJD government, State BJP Kisan Morcha president, Pradip Purohit said PM-Kisan is not directionless like KALIA.
“The State government has made a mockery of KALIA scheme. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the scheme with much fanfare before the 2019 elections with assurance to provide income augmentation assistance of Rs 10,000 crore. The scheme derailed after BJD returned to power,” Purohit said.
While the farmers waited for two years to get KALIA assistance, the promise of Rs 10,000 for two crops became Rs 4,000 and the State government has not yet made the beneficiary list public for reasons best known to the Chief Minister, he said.
Daring Das to put the beneficiary list in public domain, Purohit asked him to explain why his government is unable to submit compliance report and meet the basic requirements due to which over 13 lakh farmers have been deprived of Central assistance.
“The State government admitted that Rs 170 crore have been deposited in the accounts of 3.41 lakh ineligible beneficiaries. Will your government explain the people what action has been taken to recover the money,” Purohit questioned.
The former BJP MLA said the Centre had announced to extend the benefit to small and medium farmers and it has kept its promise by releasing the eight instalment. If the BJD is so concerned about sharecroppers and landless farmers, then it should submit a list to the Centre.
He asked the ruling party why the number of KALIA beneficiaries, after wavering from 75 lakh to 51 lakh, finally came down to 42 lakh.