The KALIA scheme was launched by the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha in January this year. The scheme aims to cover 92% of the farmers in the state by providing them financial, livelihood, cultivation support.
Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to move the Election Commission over the state Chief Electoral Officer’s decision to stop the implementation of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme citing violation of the model code of conduct, but allow Modi government’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme. According to a report in The Indian Express, the BJD has argued that all necessary approvals for the implementation of the scheme were obtained before the poll code came into effect on March 10 and any intervention by the CEO in the state-funded scheme is unacceptable to them.
“For the Kalia Yojana, as we are all aware, the financial and administrative approvals as well as beneficiaries were already identified before the Model Code of Conduct came into place. But the CEO now taking the plea of Model Code of Conduct and stopping Kalia Yojana funds is unacceptable,” BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said on Monday.
Patra questioned that if implementation of the KALIA scheme violates the poll code, how can the PM-Kisan scheme, which is akin to the state government’s scheme, be allowed.
“If on one hand, the BJP’s PM-Kisan Yojana, which is a similar process and came much after the Kalia Yojana, is being allowed, then why are Kalia funds stopped,” he asked.
At a rally Sunday in Nayagarh, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik too lashed out at the BJP, saying, “No one can stop KALIA. I am monitoring to ensure not a single eligible farmer is left out.”
Another BJD leader said that the BJP is worried that in the first phase of KALIA scheme, the state government is providing direct cash transfer of Rs 5,000 while the PM-Kisan only gives Rs 2,000.
The KALIA scheme was launched by the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha in January this year. The scheme aims to cover 92% of the farmers in the state by providing them financial, livelihood, cultivation support. Beside, it also promises insurance to farmers. Under this scheme, the state government will provide financial aid of Rs 25,000 per farm family over five seasons to allow them purchase seeds, fertilizers, pesticides. The scheme has come into effect from 2018-19 Rabi season.
The PM-KISAN scheme, on the other hand, promises Rs 6,000 annual cash assitance to farmers having land less than five hectares.
Countering the BJD’s attack at the state poll body, the BJP lashed out at the Odisha government saying BJD’s defeat is imminent in the both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
“They (BJD) are desperate and know they will be defeated. That is why they are attacking the CEO Odisha,” BJP leader Pratap Sarangi said. According to the IE report, 35 lakh farmer households have received funds in Odisha so far under the KALIA scheme.
The daily said that on last Saturday, the Modi government got the Election Commission’s nod for releasing the second installment of the PM-Kisan scheme from April 1.
Both the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha will be held simultaneously in four phases between April 11 and April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.