Protesting strongly the decision of Election Commission of India to stop distribution of funds to farmers under Odisha Government’s Kalia scheme, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik went to the Chief Electoral Officer’s Office to register a complaint.
The BJD Chief along with senior party leaders met the Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar to inlet their objection over the ECI’s decision. This is for the first time that any Odisha Chief Minister has visited the Chief Electoral Officer’s Office to file a complaint.
CM Patnaik claims that the ECI has restricted the fund distribution under Kalia scheme in the name of Model Code of Conduct, but reportedly allowed the PM-KISAN scheme to operate without any hindrance.
After meeting the Odisha Chief Electoral Officer, CM Patnaik told sources that “it is unfortunate that they (ECI) have not stopped the agricultural scheme of the Central government.”
“I had come to see the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) about (lodging) a strong complaint of the election office of stopping our governments Kalia scheme for the farmers,” added the Odisha Chief Minister.
He has justified CM Patnaik’s protest and said that the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme is significant for farmers, mainly during this season when they desperately required those funds.
“I am also very disappointed to see that BJP had complained to the EC about the Kalia scheme,” said CM Patnaik, adding that “the farmers will give them a befitting reply”.
Earlier, the BJD had submitted a memorandum with the Chief Electoral Officer in Bhubaneswar and Election Commission of India in India, reported that the Odisha government’s direct transfer benefit scheme for the sector of agriculture was not permitted to be implemented due to the Model Code of Conduct, while no restrictions were put on PM-Kisan Yojana.
According to the practice, the financial support under Kalia scheme should have been offered among farmers by March 31 but the Chief Electoral Officer under pressure from BJP has restricted the aid cited Model Code of Conduct, accused BJP spokesperson Sasmit Patra.
While asking for revoke of restriction on Kalia scheme, the state-ruled BJP argued that the process of beneficiaries’ selected has been completed on March 1, which is much before the Model Code of Conduct came into force.