Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Thursday dubbed the BJD government in Odisha as “inefficient” and accused it of hijacking central schemes and presenting programmes such as the ‘Re 1 per kg rice’ as its own.
“The BJD government in Odisha is inefficient… there should be no doubt about it. Despite its immense potential, the state has failed to witness the desired development,” the Union Human Resource Development minister, who is on a visit to the state, told reporters here.
The people of the state are, therefore, unhappy and they want an answer from the state government regarding the lack of development during the past several years, he claimed.
Lashing out at the Naveen Patnaik government for boasting about providing rice at Re 1 per kg to the poor, Javadekar said the Centre contributes Rs 27 while the state government provides only Rs 2.
Therefore, it should be described as ‘Modi rice’ scheme and the Naveen Patnaik government should not take credit for this, he said.
The Naveen government’s speciality is to take credit for different schemes launched by the Centre by rechristening them, the union minister alleged, claiming that the BJD dispensation presents various central programmes as its own after putting in some meagre amount.
Refuting the allegation as mere political utterances, BJD spokesperson and MP, P K Deb said after the Food Security Act (FSA) came into force, the central government was bound to provide funds to states and it would be highly inappropriate to call it ‘Modi rice’ scheme.
Under the federal set-up, the Narendra Modi government is doing what it is supposed to do, and it is not extending any special favour to Odisha, he said.
Another BJD leader Subash Singh said the FSA was passed during the UPA government after discussions with the states.
At a time when the economic situation in the country is getting worse day by day, the union minster should give a reply to people, he said.
Congress stalwart and the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Narasingha Mishra slammed the union minister, saying it is neither ‘Modi rice’ nor ‘Naveen rice’ as the rice is made available as part of the mechanism to ensure food security to the people.