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BJP’s Allegations Over Odisha Panipanchayat Baseless: BJD


07 March 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: While BJP today alleged that the mandatory elections have not been held duly for over 21,366 out of the total 29,733 panipanchayats in the State and funds being swindled, BJD pooh-poohed it as baseless.

Convening a press meet at State BJP headquarters here earlier in the day, senior leader and former minister Biswabhusan Harichandan claimed, “There are 29,733 panipanchayats in the State. Election of the panipanchayat should be in every six years. If not held, the panipanchayat will get suo motu defunct.”

“After 2008, election has been conducted for only some 8,000 panipanchayats while election for 21,366 panipanchayats has not been held. But all these panipanchayats are functioning like elected ones and spending funds. Also swindling funds in large extent,” the senior BJP leader alleged.

Countering him, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb shot back, “Let him (BJP leader) first learn the system of panipanchayat. The panipanchayat was introduced in 2006 or 2007. It was implemented by handing over to the farmers. The farmers run it, maintain it and pay the electricity bill.”

He stated, “If any natural calamity takes place or any damage caused to the point, the State Government would extend partial support so that it functions again.”

“Panipanchayat is autonomous. Amazinlgy, the BJP has woken up in 2019 from seep slumber,” the BJD leader remarked.

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Biswabhusan Harichandan, Senior BJP Leader, Odisha

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Pratap Keshari Deb, Spokesperson, BJD