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Aparajita Tries To Pull Up Odisha Govt Over MGNREGA Performance, BJD Hits Back

24 January 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: While former Odisha cadre IAS officer and BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi tried to put the BJD-ruled State Government in the dock so far its performance in MGNREGA is concerned, the ruling party turned the table on her as well as her party-ruled Centre.

Convening a press meet here today at the party office, Aparajita Sarangi said, “In the context of per capita income, we were among the five States below. Now we are still among the ten States below in the list.”

She added, “Secondly I would like to say about poverty. Odisha Government had passed on some data to Rural Development Ministry on 31 March 2016. The rural family figure had been cited as 83 lakh. Out of the 83 lakh rural families, 58 lakh families are poor and deprived.”

She further argued, “The third point in this regard I would like to point out here is that MGNREGA is world’s biggest poverty alleviation programme. As per the figure of 2017-18 is available, Rs 2,198 crore funds was sanctioned to Odisha. But on that year, Rs 6,000 crore was for West Bengal while Rs 5,100 crore was for Andhra Pradesh. We can compare ours with the neighbouring State of Chhattisgarh. It got Rs 3,000 crore.”

“I would like to state why Odisha’s performance is so poor for which Rs 2,198 crore was received from the Centre. It would have benefitted the people directly,” she remarked.

Aparajita counselled, “We are all wanting to go for sustainable growth model of each sector’s development. Need to hit unemployment and eradicate unemployment problem.”

BJD spokesperson Sulata Deo countered, “She (Aparajita Sarangi) was in the capacity of a Joint Director at the Centre and was also handling MGNREGA project there. I think she forgets that she had awarded Odisha for good performance in MGNREGA project.”

Taking a dig at BJP’s 2014 election manifesto promise, the BJD spokesperson said, “They had promised to provide 2 crore employment opportunities per year. Where is the promise? Had it been, Odisha would have reaped the benefit. They (BJP) simply resort to lip-service while in action it’s all zero.”

She commented, “When the BJP Government at the Centre awards us with prize for nicely executing different projects, the Odisha unit of BJP blame us too much. Perhaps, the two units of the same party lack coordination.”

“We have provided over one lakh employment opportunities in our four and half years of tenure. 33,000 Sikhya Sahayaks have been benefitted from this step. The Centre has awarded us having made nine lakh youth skilled,” the BJD spokesperson averred.

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Aparajita Sarangi, BJP Leader, Odisha

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Sulata Deo, Spokesperson, BJD