Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday claimed that the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to provide five crore LPG connections in the name of women in BPL (Below Poverty Line) households across the country, is a complete failure.
“The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana launched by the BJP government cannot be said to be successful. The Centre is providing LPG connections to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are not taking the cylinders to the gas agency for refilling once the LPG is exhausted,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb told mediapersons here.
Talking about the status of Ujjwala Yojana in Odisha, Deb said 30.48 lakh beneficiaries have been provided LPG connections from 2016-17 till July 30 this year.
“Out of the total beneficiaries, 8,18,786 had taken the second refill in 2016-17 while 6,45,265 till July 24, 2018. From this, it is now clear that the number of LPG connections in Odisha is coming down every year. Going by the statistics, how can Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other national BJP leaders claim that the scheme is successful?” Deb asked.
He also alleged that there has been rampant irregularity in the selection of beneficiaries under the scheme.
The BJP, on the other hand, strongly refuted the charge.
“No one can answer to the sheer jealousy and ignorance of a person. The statement of the BJD speaks volume of its sheer apathy towards the women, the poor and the tribals of Odisha. For a developing country like India, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a model. If this scheme is not successful, it would not have overwhelmingly accepted by the women,” Dharmendra told mediapersons.
Taking a swipe at the BJD spokesperson, BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty said it is obvious that the BJD is jealous as about 26.64 lakh women are relieved of serious health hazards associated with cooking with fossil fuel.
Refuting the charge of the BJD that there has been gross irregularity in the selection of beneficiaries in Odisha under the Ujjwala Yojana, Mohanty said the process of selection has been transparent. “Till date, there is not a single complain about the selection of beneficiaries from any district of Odisha,” he added.
Replying to the statement of the BJD spokesperson that the beneficiaries are not able to refill the LPG, he said the BJD, which has been in power for more than 18 years, should feel ashamed if the women are unable to purchase the LPG.