Cong Seeks Agriculture Minister’s Scalp Over ‘Ineligible’ KALIA Beneficiaries

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Bhubaneswar: The Congress on Monday demanded that Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahu be sacked for misleading the Odisha Assembly by providing false information on the number of ineligible KALIA ((Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) beneficiaries.

Briefing mediapersons, Congress leader Satya Prakash Nayak said that the Agriculture Minister had informed the Assembly that only 45,965 ineligible beneficiaries in 30 districts were identified by October this year. However, the data obtained from the RTI had put the number at 1,72,908 in 10 districts during the said month, he added.

Nayak said Sonepur district has the highest number of 37,759 ineligible beneficiaries followed by Koraput (15,255),  Khurda (18,552), Ganjam (19,980), Mayurbhanj (14,017), Malkangiri (9852), Sundargarh (11,542), Sambalpur (10,050) and Jagatsinghpur (15,891).

“Going by the RTI data, Rs 86 crore was misappropriated in 10 districts. As the minister had submitted fake documents related to the scheme in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister should to take immediate action and sack him under his 5T model of governance, instead of looking for scapegoats among low-rung officials. He has not only mislead the Assembly but also the people of Odisha,” Nayak said.

However, the minister said that he had not received the data furnished by Congress and would make a statement only after getting it.

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