Odisha BJP stages protest against state government for renaming “PM Awas Yojana”; accuses Naveen Patnaik of ignoring state’s devlopment

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Bhartiya Janta Party’s Odisha unit staged a protest in front of Raj Bhawan on Thursday against the Naveen Patnaik government. The party accused the Naveen Patnaik of “hijacking” the national schemes and modifying it as his own.

The main issue of contention arose when Naveen Patnaik-led Bju Janata Dal (BJD) changed the name of “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana” to Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. PM Awas Yojana is a BJP-led government scheme to provide affordable housing to the urban poor. It has two components- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) for the urban poor and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin). The target of the scheme is to build 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022.

The saffron party also submitted a memorandum to Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and demanded immediate action against the state government. The leaders of the saffron party had also urged the governor to direct the state administration to track down the corrupt practices in the execution of the “Housing scheme”.

Speaking on the matter, BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty said, “The state government has changed the name of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna’ to ‘Mo Awas Yojna’ to make it appear to be a housing scheme of the state. This is both unethical and illegal. Work orders for the beneficiaries of this central scheme in Odisha also carry the chief minister’s photographs and the logo of the state’s Biju Pucca Ghar Yojna (BPGY). We want these misleading acts to stop immediately.”

BJP leaders have also accused the members of the BJD party of demanding extra money to incorporate the name of missing persons on the list. Another leader from the saffron party accused the Naveen Patnaik government of ignoring the development of Odisha.

Responding to the claims of BJP, BJD spokesperson Anubhav Patnaik denied the allegations as baseless. Speaking to media, he said, “The Centre bears 60 percent of the cost of the PMAY scheme while the rest 40 percent is borne by the state government. If the expenses incurred by the state government in monitoring, supervision, and implementation of this scheme are added, then the state’s share would surely exceed that of the Centre.”

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