Odisha: BJD Terms Extension Of PMGKAY For Free Foodgrain To Poor A Poll Gimmick; BJP Counters

Bhubaneswar: Taking a dig at the BJP led government at the Centre, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday termed the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) to provide free foodgrain to the poor for five more years a poll gimmick.

Accusing the BJP government of always cheating the poor, Biju Janata Dal ( BJD) leader and MLA from Rajanagar, Dhruba Charan Sahu alleged that the Union Cabinet’s decision to extend the scheme is nothing but a poll gimmick.

Claiming that several central schemes have been discontinued after the Narendra Modi-led government came to power, he said the prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed, hitting the poor people hard.

Stating that the centre reduced the foodgrains provided under the PMGKAY by half to 5 kg, the BJD legislator said as the general election is approaching, the Centre is trying to mislead the people by extending this yojana for five more years.

The BJD leader also sought to know as to why the distribution of 5kg free foodgrain under the PMGKAY was stopped.

The state unit of BJP, on the other hand, said that the Centre provided foodgrains to the state completely free where the latter did not have to incur any expenses towards it.

Stating that the Centre provided free foodgrains during the Covid-19 pandemic., BJP MLA Nauri Nayak slammed the BJD government over its rice scheme.

Neither the state government nor the beneficiary had to pay anything to avail the benefits of the scheme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it completely free. The scheme has only been extended, Nayak said.

The BJP legislator also accused the BJD government of launching several schemes to secure votes during elections by misleading people.

Earlier in the day, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that the Centre is extending the PMGKAY scheme to provide 5 kg of free foodgrain per month to 81 crore poor people for another five years, effective from January 1, 2024. The scheme will cost the government nearly Rs 11.8 lakh crore over the next five years.

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