BHUBANESWAR: The BJD on Saturday targeted Union minister for his claim regarding grand success of the , under which the Centre provides free LPG connections to people in rural areas.
The Centre has so far covered 5 crore beneficiaries, achieving the target almost eight months before the schedule. Over 30.48 lakh connections were given in Odisha under the scheme that was launched in May 2016.

The scheme implemented by the ministry of petroleum and aims at providing clean-cooking fuel to the poor households which are otherwise vulnerable to various health hazards.

Addressing a news conference here, BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member said the Centre’s claim regarding grand success of the programme is misleading.

“As only 30 per cent people, who were given LPG connection under the scheme, are refilling the cylinders after first use, the central scheme has failed in its objective of providing smoke-free environment to our women. The Union minister needs to clarify on the issue,” said Deb.

Based on a written reply of Pradhan in Rajya Sabha on August 1, Deb said of total 30.48 lakh connections in Odisha, only 8.18 lakh beneficiaries took second refill in 2016-17 while the number reduced to 6.45 lakh in 2017-18 financial year.

Deb said in , the home district of Pradhan, total 1.5 lakh connections were given under the scheme while the second refill was taken by 35,406 beneficiaries in 2016-17 and 16,950 in the following year.

“The trend shows that the number of beneficiaries taking second refill is decreasing. The perception created by the BJP in media over the scheme is deceiving,” Deb added.

The Rajya Sabha member said since the beneficiaries were identified by the oil marking companies under the petroleum ministry, the BJP cannot blame the state government for the situation.

He said slammed the Centre over delay in releasing subsidy to the beneficiaries under the direct benefit transfer.

“I hope the Union minister would clarify the real picture of the scheme in Odisha. Hence, people of the state would give a befitting reply to the BJP for making false claims about the programme,” he said.

Hitting back at Deb, Dharmendra said BJD’s allegations prove its intolerance over grand success of the programme which has become model in the country. “The allegations also reflect the party’s anti-women, anti-poor and anti-tribal attitude,” Dharmendra said.

It a news conference, BJP leader Pitambar Acharya also criticized Deb for placing mislead facts on the scheme. He said while the entire world lauded the Ujjwala scheme as blue flame revolution, BJD’s criticism indicate its ignorance about the scheme.
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