BJD Leader Soumya Patnaik Slams PM Modi Over Free Rice In Odisha

Nayagarh: Protesting the Centre’s decision to stop the PMGKAY free food programme, senior BJD leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on Thursday sought quick steps by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the move for the interest of poor people of Odisha.

The senior legislator was addressing a gathering in Bhapur block of Nayagarh district as  the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) staged  state-wide protest against the Centre’s move.

Stating that BJD aims at protecting the interest of the people of the state as a regional party, Patnaik said that the party never shows reluctance in supporting good initiatives of the Centrral government for the interest of the country and its people.

However, when the poor people are hit hard, BJD will never tolerate, he said, adding that the poor people who were affected badly after 5 kg cut in rice and the party will fight for them.

Demanding immediate steps to withdraw the decision to stop Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), he said though the COVID-19 situation has improved, the poor people are still reeling under the impact of the pandemic.

The Centre decided to discontinue the PMGKAY as the economic situation had improved since COVID-19 cases and restrictions had eased. With additional 5 kg free rice per person being stopped under PMGKAY, it decided to provide free rations under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) over the next year in a move to couch the poor from the effects of the scheme, which ended on December 31, 2022.

Patnaik said BJD is opposing stoppage of PMGKAY as it affects 3.25 crore population as well as lakhs of farmers in Odisha.

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