BJD promises KALIA aid to 25 lakh more farmers

Naveen seeks performance report from party MPs

Bhubaneswar: April 5:  Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President Naveen Patnaik on Friday promised to provide 25 lakh farmers in Odisha two instalments of Rs 10,000 each under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, the day his party forms a government in the state.

Odisha faces Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously. Addressing an election rally in Jeypore, the Odisha Chief Minister said the welfare of farmers had been the number one priority in the BJD election manifesto.

“So far, 40 lakh farmers have been benefited from the KALIA scheme. A list has been prepared of 25 lakh more names for the scheme,” said Patnaik.

The BJD has alleged that the Chief Electoral Officer stalled the implementation of the KALIA scheme in the state due to enforcement of the election model code of conduct.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, on the other hand, accused the state government of benefiting relatives of BJD leaders in the scheme.

Addressing an election rally in Kalahandi Parliamentary constituency, Pradhan said, “Naveen Patnaik boasts of providing money to 40 lakh farmers under the Kalia scheme. But it’s the relatives and family members of BJD Ministers and MLAs who are actually enjoying the money, while the farmers are left out.”

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana to benefit small and marginal farmers who have less than 5 acres of land. The scheme would have benefitted 40 lakh farmers in Odisha. But the state government has deliberately delayed its implementation by not providing the Centre details of the farmers,” he alleged.

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Odisha will face Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. Odisha has 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats. (IANS)