The ruling party in Odisha, Biju Janta Dal(BJD) has written to the State Election Officer to register their grievances regarding BJP’s insistence on getting payments for the BJD’s flagship scheme Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) blocked before the elections.
Biju Janata Dal writes to State Chief Electoral Officer stating that ‘BJP has been pressurizing Election Commission to stop flow of KALIA assistance being provided to over 20 lakh farmers in #Odisha. The party should not be allowed to stop it.’ pic.twitter.com/DQ1nVAACte
— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2019
A couple of days back, the Odisha BJP unit had alleged that BJD is flouting the Model code of conduct through its KALIA scheme. In a memorandum submitted to the Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar, the BJP alleged that the Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera’s announcement to disburse monetary assistance to farmers under KALIA scheme till March 31 is a brazen violation of the Model Code of Conduct which came into force on March 10 after the announcement of General Elections.
KALIA is a monetary benefit transfer scheme for the farmers in Odisha put into action by the Navin Patnaik government. According to the scheme, marginal and landless farmers will be provided with a compensation of Rs 10000 per year, Rs 5000 for Kharif crops and Rs 5000 for rabi crops.
Initially, the plan was to extend the scheme to 30 lakh farmers but based on the response from the farmers, the scheme was extended for an additional 15 lakh farmers as well. BJD is too heavily reliant on the scheme, so much so that its chief Naveen Patnaik has been personally visiting various districts to launch it. With this scheme, Patnaik aspires to come back to power for a record fifth time in the state.
About 30 lakh farmers have already received the first installment transferred directly to their bank accounts in a phased manner. The state cadres and ministers have been instructed to compare the benefits of KALIA which provides Rs 10000 per year with Union Government’s Kisan scheme which provides Rs 6000.