Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
Odisha unit of Congress today gheraoed all the panchayat offices of the state and the BMC (Bhubaneswar Municipality Council) office protesting against irregularities in distribution of digitized ration cards.
Senior leaders such as PCC President Prasad Harichandan, Sarat Patnaik, Suresh Routray, Sulochana Das etc led the agitations at various places of the state.
“Our demands are very specific. Odisha Government had assured that it would create an accurate beneficiary roll based on NPR (National Population Register). As per the social and economic survey of NPR, it is clear that 88 out of 100 families in the state live under Rs 5000 a month. It is impossible for a family to live under Rs 5000 while prices are so high,” said Harichandan.
“The State Government, however, limited the total number of beneficiaries to 3.26 crore. About 70 lakh legitimate beneficiaries didn’t get a mention in the NFSA rolls. The Congress wants the government to issue digitized ration cards to these 70 lakh people so that they can be covered under the food security act, he added.
Further, Congress alleged that people connected to the ruling establishment have pocketed more than one cards for themselves and their kins illegally while hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries have been left out from the purview of the NFSA (National Food Security Act) in the state.
“Congress is conducting this gherao at more than 6000 panchayats of the state today. We want to make it clear to the ruling BJD government that if they stop listening to the poor and do not rectify the ration card rolls, we will intensify this agitation further,” said former PCC Chief Sarat Patnaik.