Bhubaneswar: The state Congress Friday accused the BJD government of flouting reservation rules meant for marginalised sections and the differently-abled in its Biju Yuva Vahini scheme.
The party said that while the government has planned to spend around Rs 150 crore per year under the scheme it has failed to comply with the reservation policy.
Addressing a press conference, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik accused the government of using government funds to reap political dividends.
“The government has earmarked Rs 150 crore for the Biju Yuva Vahini sub scheme. This is unfortunate as around 1.80 lakh youth in the state are seeking jobs, and you are providing funds to some select people who can help you later in elections,” the OPCC chief said.
Niranjan also talked about not ensuring reservation in the scheme. “This government-sponsored scheme is flouting reservation rules. You are not ensuring the participation of women, Scheduled Castes and people with disabilities in the scheme and are using public funds for gaining political mileage.”
The party also cited the recent notice issued to the government by the National Commission of Scheduled Caste (NCSC) regarding a complaint which alleged flouting of reservation rules in the scheme. The NCSC has now asked the government to furnish its views and stand on the issue.
The Sports and Youth Affairs department had launched the sub scheme and is executing it now. It aims to create volunteers to roll out the ‘Mu Hero’ scheme of the government.
The volunteers of Biju Yuva Vahini are trained to promote active participation in social action projects and community engagement activities. Youths aged between 15 and 35 are eligible to join the Vahini.
Rubbishing the allegations, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said, “Congress got the whole idea of Biju Yuva Vahini totally wrong. This is not a government job but a social scheme. This is a volunteer group created for social work wherein youths from several gram panchayats join.”