Bhubaneswar: The state leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday met the State Chief Electoral officer of the Election Commission (EC) and raised the issue of the state Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera’s remark of giving cash assistance under KALIA scheme till March 31.
Terming this a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, the state BJP leadership comprising Odisha BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty filed their complaint relating to the issue and sought the intervention of the election commission.
The delegation also alleged lack of transparency in the scheme meant for the farmers and also raised doubts about its disbursement granted under the scheme.
The state finance minister, after being buoyed by EC’s green signal to KALIA scheme, had Monday said that KALIA beneficiaries will get benefits till March 31.
The minister had told reporters that merely 1 or 2 per cent farmers from Odisha are now out of ambit from getting the benefits of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme. According to Behera the state government would take adequate steps to include these farmers under the scheme.
Nevertheless, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has now called the Chief Election Officer from Odisha and other states including the state election observers for a national level meeting in the national capital to brainstorm on the issue of ensuring free and fair elections in the country. Issues like cash assistance under state or central schemes are likely to crop up in the meeting.