The ruling BJD in Odisha has decided to launch a three-day agitation from April 10 next against the slashing of the state’s kerosene quota. Odisha’s food supplies and consumer welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma, who is also the president of BJD’s youth wing, said “We will launch an agitation from April 10 as the Centre paid no heed to our request. While I have personally met the concerned Union Minister once, the state govenrment has written at least four letters requesting the restoration of Odisha’s quota for kerosene,” Dasburma said.
On April 10, the BJD members will protest in Bhubaneswar outside the Raj Bhawan while on April 11 and 12 they will stage dharna before RDC offices in Berhampur and Sambalpur respectively. Claiming that the Centre has cut 36 per cent of the state quota this year, Dasburma said, ”62,112 kilolitre kerosene has been allotted to the state, 36,336 kilolitres short of its quota.” Dasburma, accompanied by party’s general secretary and law minister Arun Sahoo and BJD spokesman S B Behera, told reporters that the Centre had reduced kerosene supply by 25 per cent between 2010-11 and 2014-15. “The ruling party is forced to agitate on the streets as the Centre refused to listen to our demands,” Behera said.
Union Petroleum and Narural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, who hailed from the state, had said on April 3 that the per-head kerosene quota for Odisha is 24 litres per annum. Pradhan suggested the state government to stop the rampant pilferage of the fuel in Odisha, as 2.4 kilolitre of kerosene has already been been allotted to the state. Meanwhile, opposition BJP demanded that the data related to the distribution of kerosene in Odisha be made public. “We want data from the state government on kerosene distribution,” BJP spokesman Golak Mohapatra said.