Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan conspired to stop Aahar Yojana in Odisha. This was said by BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra in a press meet at Bhubanewar. He said that instead of providing CSR money to the State, he had diverted funds to Bihar, alleges BJD leaders during a presser in Bhubaneswar .
He said that Central PSUs namely Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL), NALCO and Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) were ready with agreements with Odisha Government on 21st March, 2015 to provide their PSU funds for implementation AAHAR Yojana which provides subsidized meals to lakhs of people in Odisha at a nominal amount of Rupees five. The programme was roll-out on 1st April, 2015 but Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan pressurized these three PSUs namely MCL, NALCO and RSP to withdraw from supporting AAHAR programme to the people of Odisha. MCL was to support AAHAR programme at Sambalpur, NALCO for Bhubaneswar and RSP for Rourkela. But due to the conspiracy by Union Minister Pradhan to withdrawal these Central
PSUs, the AAHAR Yojana would not have been possible. But Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri. Naveen Patnaik from State
Government sources and agencies ensured that the AAHAR Yojana benefitted the people of Odisha. Thus, it was Shri.
Naveen Patnaik who ensured AAHAR but it was Union Minister Pradhan who conspired and denied AAHAR to people of
Odisha. Not only this, since he was Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, he diverted the Central PSU funds to Bihar as his allegiance
and support was for Bihar and its people than for the people of Odisha. The AAHAR Yojana provides meals to one lakh
people each day in Odisha and has provided eight crore and twenty lakh meals so far. Such a massive welfare for the people
of Odisha was conspired against by BJP and Union Minister Pradhan is extremely unfortunate and Biju Janata Dal strongly
condemns it. The people of Odisha will give a strong reply to the BJP for the conspiracy hatched against them.
The second aspect is the constant violation of the silence/ban period provided for by the Election Commission before
the polling starts. It was seen very clearly that the Bharatiya Janata Party have become habitual offenders for violating the
silence/ban period by participating in panel discussions and giving bytes to the media while this silence/ban period is in
force. Despite being repeatedly warned by the Election Office, the BJP has made up its mind to continue such violations
which is extremely unfortunate and speaks poorly of the BJP and its intention to continue violating all rules and guidelines
in the elections in Odisha. Further, it is seen that criminalization and criminal activities during the polling phases and the
period preceding is on an upswing due to the BJP and its scant respect for the rules and regulations laid down by the
Election Commission. With the third phase of polling to commence on 23rd April, 2019 and silence/ban period starting from
today evening, unless the BJP is strictly noticed by the Chief Electoral Office, they will continue to indulge in such wanton
acts of criminal intimidation as seen in the case of BJP’s Soroda MLA candidate Nilamani Bisoyi who destroyed the EVM
machine during polling and threatened the people there. Further, the BJP needs to be restrained by the Chief Electoral Office
to ensure that they do not violate the silence/ban period as laid by law. This was said in addressing to the media Party Spokesperson Dr. Sasmit Patra, Dr. Lenin Mohanty & Smt. Sulata Deo in a press meet held at State Party office, Bhubaneswar.