Athawale Urges Odisha CM To Join NDA

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Monday urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, which he said will further boost the state’s development.

“The BJD has always supported the NDA government during the passage of important Bills in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If Naveen Patnaik joins the BJP, it will further boost Odisha’s development prospects by way of getting more funds from the Centre,” Athawale said at a press conference in Odisha’s capital.

Athawale said the NDA will get a bigger mandate in the 2024 elections.

The Union minister said that inter-caste marriages need to be promoted on a bigger scale to bring equality in society.

He said that his ministry through the Dr Ambedkar Foundation was providing Rs 2.5 lakh for inter-caste marriages while the Odisha government also has a similar scheme. But there was a need to promote it on a higher scale, he added.

According to Athawale, 1,847 inter-caste marriages were registered in Odisha in 2020-21, which rose to 2,428 in 2021-22.

Providing data on cases of atrocities in the state, the minister said that Odisha registered 2,828 cases of atrocities in 2020-21 and 2,768 cases during 2021-22.

Talking about the status of Divyangs, elderly and widows, the minister said that in Odisha, around 20 lakh Divyangs, elderly and widows were receiving pension worth Rs 500 a month. “We need to increase the amount of pension for the beneficiaries,” he said.

Athawale also provided data on various central schemes and their status of implementation in the state. As per data, under PM Jan-Dhan Yojana, 46.25 crore accounts have been opened across the nation while in Odisha, over 1.91 crore accounts have been opened so far.

Similarly, under PM Mudra Yojana, 36.33 crore people have so far been benefited, while in Odisha, the number of beneficiaries stands at over 2.45 crore. Under PM Ujjwala Yojana, 52.94 lakh beneficiaries have got cooking gas connection in Odisha.

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