The ruling BJD in Odisha Thursday came down heavily on the BJP-led central government over the hike in cooking gas price by Rs 50. The LPG price hike and withdrawal of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) free food programme have dealt a “double blow” to the common man, the regional party said.
Under the PMGKAY, an extra 5 kg of free foodgrains was provided to every ration card holder in addition to the entitlement under the National Food Security Act. Noting that the price of cooking gas has been raised three times in a span of 8-9 years, BJD spokespersons S R Patnaik and Sremayee Mishra, told reporters that the state BJP should mount pressure on the Union government for a rollback of LPG price hike instead of doing “cheap politics” in Odisha.
Launching an attack on the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, BJD MLA from Khandapada S R Patnaik recalled PM Modi’s slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ before the BJP came to power in 2014 and the Centre’s ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ (PMUY).
Though the BJD all along supported the Centre’s decisions for implementation of welfare schemes, the regional party cannot remain silent when the Modi government abruptly hikes LPG price that affects women, middle class and the poor, the BJD MLA said. The LPG price hike has defeated the very purpose of PMUY, he said.
“Now women will be forced to return to traditional fuel like fire wood and subject themselves to smoke and unhygienic condition”, the BJD MLA said. The BJD leaders said: “Our party hopes that the Centre will ensure that people, especially mothers and sisters of Odisha, are not adversely affected by its decisions. We also hope the Odisha BJP to break its silence and speak up on issues that affect 4.5 crore people of the state.”