Congress to expose Odisha’s rice subsidy scheme

Bhubaneswar, July 2 (IANS) The Congress’ Odisha unit Tuesday said it will launch a state wide campaign from July 11 against the Biju Janata Dal government over the “irregularities” in the subsidized rice scheme in the state.

Party unit president Jayadeb Jena said the Naveen Patnaik government has claimed to be providing 25 kg rice at Re. 1 per kg every month to every family below the poverty line (BPL) along with some other categories in backward regions, while the central government has been allocating 35 kg rice per family a month.

“The state government has been depriving eligible people from getting additional 10 kg rice,” Jena told reporters, adding his party will strive to create awareness among the beneficiaries.

Congress activists across the state would help such families to lodge complaints with local police against the chief minister and civil supply minister for depriving them of the benefits, he said.

State Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya, however, dismissed the allegation, saying it was intended to get the Congress some political mileage for the 2014 general elections.

“It is a political gimmick of the Congress. We do not give importance to such allegations. Odisha government has been providing the rice to more people whereas the central government has been allocating for lesser people,” he contended.

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