That the BPL surveys in the state are a big sham had become even more painfully clear when starvation deaths came back to haunt Orissa’s most backward district last year and the SC pulled up the state administration for its skewed BPL lists.
The matter had come to light way back in ’98 when Chamanlal, special representative of the National Human Rights Commission, went on a fact-finding mission to Rayagada. It was the ensuing outcry that forced the state government to order the probe, under the deputy administrator of the Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region, Hrushikesh Panda. The BJD regime had made a huge noise about the Panda report after coming to power. But poverty obviously gets less priority than political circuses.