Odisha ruling BJD alleged Ujjwala Yojana a total failure, Skill India Mission of Modi government a “massive scam”

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday alleged that the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has failed in its objective and is a total failure in Odisha. Party also termed the Skill India Mission of the Modi government a “massive scam”. This was said by BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb in a press conference here.

Earlier CM Naveen Patnaik said that  “PM must have said that to enthuse his pol workers. In fact, they should be thinking about Skill India scams & Ujwala scams. Also they must think seriously about record rocketing prices of petrol & diesel.”

BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had informed the Parliament that 30,48,000 households in Odisha have been provided LPG cylinder under the Ujjwala Yojana in the last two years. However, only 8,18,000 refilled their cylinders in the financial year 2016-17 which dropped down to 6,45,000 in the financial year 2017-18.

“In the home district of Pradhan, Angul, 1, 05,508 gas connections have been provided in the last two years. In the financial year 2016-17 only 35,406 have refilled the cylinders and it has dropped down to 16,950 in the financial year 2017-18. A person provided with LPG cylinder by the BJP is not going to refill the cylinder for the second time, which proves the scheme is a failure,” added Deb.

He said neither the state government nor the district administration was given the charge of selecting the beneficiaries of the scheme. The list was prepared by the BJP leaders and also distributed by them in events organised by Indian Oil Corporation limited (IOCL). The Centre cannot accuse that the State Government is responsible for the decrease in number of people going for LPG refilling, he added.

Deb further alleged that the BJP is first distributing gas connections free to attract people and later asking them to refill it at market rates and the subsidy amount is also not credited to their bank accounts on time. LPG cylinder price hike, lack of banking facilities and internet connectivity in some areas are major reasons that have led to the failure of the scheme. Among others, BJD secretary Bijay Nayak and spokesperson Sasmit Patra were present.

Similarly, the BJD termed the Skill India Mission of the Modi government a “massive scam” with middlemen pocketing money meant for beneficiaries. “The Skill India Mission has turned out to be a massive scam with people within the BJP eco-system, its cronies, middlemen, touts and mafia pocketing the money for the same and listing ghost beneficiaries,” the ruling party alleged.

“This shows the admittance of guilt by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and that under him now the Skill India programme had become a huge Scam. The Prime Minister was probably talking about this when he said about corruption while he addressed people in Jharsuguda today,” the BJD stated.

In reaction, Minister Pradhan said, “Those who are displaying their intolerance by presenting selective facts are displaying their opposition towards the poor, tribal, women and people of Odisha. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has proved as a model for developing countries across the world,” he said.

Responding to the revelations on Skill India Mission, Pradhan said, “The government has a robust mechanism of audit, we will analyse your report and will take action accordingly.”