The opposition BJP in Odisha staged protests in parts of the state on Wednesday over the alleged irregularities in the implementation of a housing scheme, and shot off a ‘chetavni patra’ (warning letter) to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, threatening to intensify the agitation.
Snubbing the allegation as ”baseless”, the ruling BJD said the saffron party should follow protocol to raise objections, if it has any.
Activists and leaders of the BJP held protests in 314 blocks of the state during the day, claiming that the beneficiary list of the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), released recently, included names of many ineligible people.
Of the 9.5 lakh names in list, at least three lakh are ineligible, BJP state president Samir Mohanty said.
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The saffron party leaders later met the block development officers and handed them over the ‘chetavni patra’, addressed to Patnaik. Meanwhile, BJD MP Sasmit Patra and party spokesperson Srimayee Mishra held a press conference here, and dared the BJP to release a ”genuine list”.
”The BJP should file the objections as per the Centre’s PMAY guidelines or provide a beneficiary list which it thinks is genuine,” said Patra.
Both BJD leaders emphasised that the beneficiary list has been prepared in a transparent manner, under the guidelines provided by the Centre. People were given time to raise objections, Mishra said.
The Centre has sanctioned only eight lakh houses under PMAY (grameen), while the state has a requirement of 15 lakh homes, he pointed out.
Both Patra and Mishra also alleged that the ”Centre was planning to stop sanctioning funds under the PMAY scheme in the state, owing to the false narrative created by Odisha BJP MPs”.
They accused the state BJP unit of working against people’s interests.
”However, the Naveen Patnaik government will continue to help people and allot houses to the poor from its own resources,” Patra asserted.
”People will teach the saffron party a lesson for its negative politics,” he added.