BJD, BJP spar over use of logo in PMGAY rural housing scheme

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD and Opposition BJP on Monday entered into a verbal duel in the Odisha Assembly over use of logo of the state’s rural housing scheme named after former chief minister Biju Patnaik in the dwellings built under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana (PMGAY).

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP raised the issue of BJD government using the logo of Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) containing picture of Biju Patnaik in the houses constructed under PMGAY.

The ruling party defended the action and argued that the state government is making significant contribution in the programme.

BJD named after Biju Patnaik is in power in Odisha continuously since last 20 years.

Naik alleged that this was an attempt by the Naveen Patnaik headed party to mislead people and give masses an impression that the houses in rural Odisha were being built by the state government alone.

He said the rural housing scheme is being implemented in the state with assistance from the Centre under PMGAY. Naik cited a letter written by the Project Director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Jajpur to all the Block Development Officers (BDOs) to use BPGY logo in the houses built in the rural areas. “I seek a ruling from the Speaker on the matter,” Naik said.

BJP member Mukesh Mahaling supported Naik and denounced the use of BPGY logo in the houses built under the PMGAY.

Government Chief Whip Pramilla Mallick shot back arguing there was nothing wrong in using the BPGY logo. “As the state government has been spending 40 per cent of the project cost of houses built under the PMGAY, there is nothing wrong in using the BPGY logo,” Mallick said.

Senior BJD member and former minister Debi Prasad Mishra said: “There are certain schemes which are totally funded by the central government. But, in the case of PMGAY, the houses are being constructed under 60:40 share basis. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in using the state logo. The BJP should not be intolerant towards this.”

Mishra said out of Rs 12,000 crore spent under the rural housing schemes in the state in last two year, Odisha government has spent Rs 6,000 crore, which is 50 per cent of the total amount.

Leader of the Opposition, however, said: “When the state government puts Biju Babu logo, it should also place the PMGAY logo. There is no harm in displaying two logos.

“The state government should also mention that the houses are being built with 60 per cent contribution from the Centre,” he said.

Congress whip Taraprasad Bahinipati slammed both the BJD and the BJP for tweaking nomenclature of the scheme originally named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

“Initially, it was Indira Awas Yojana. The Modi government changed it to PMGAY. The NDA government hijacked the Congress schemes.

“Similarly, the BJD government in the state also uses Biju logo. In fact, it was Congress which had started all welfare schemes. Now both the BJD and BJP are fighting to get credit for them,” Bahinipati said.

(PTI)

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