Odisha govt furnished erroneous data in Assembly, claims BJP citing Uttarakhand tunnel incident

Bhubaneswar: Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today alleged that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government has furnished false data regarding migrant labourers from Odisha in the Assembly during the Winter Session.

The BJP made the allegations while citing the case of an Odia labourer, who along with four others from Odisha were rescued from a partially-collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand recently.

“Five Odia workers along with 36 others got trapped in the tunnel when a portion of it collapsed on November 12. Four Odia workers have already returned to Odisha after their rescue from the tunnel on November 28. However, one Odia worker, who has been rescued from the tunnel, is yet to return home. There were reports that he is a native of Basudevpur in Bhadrak district. This particular case is contradicting the data provided by the Labour Minister with regard to migrant labourers in Odisha Assembly,” said BJP leader Tejeswar Parida at a presser here today.

While replying to query of Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Labour Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak had told the Assembly that no one from Bhadrak and eight other districts—Angul, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Sonepur and Sundargarh, has gone to other states for jobs.

“Raju Nayak, Dhiren Nayak and Bisheswar Nayak from Mayurbhanj have returned home after their rescue from the Uttrakhand tunnel. The Labour Minister told the Assembly that only 10 workers from Mayurbhanj have migrated to other states for jobs. The state government should clarify whether these three Odia labourers were included in the official data or not,” Parida added.

The Labour Minister informed the House that no one from his home district Sundargarh has migrated to other states seeking employment opportunities. However, the bodies of two migrant labourers from Baragaon block in Sundargarh were brought to their native places recently. The BJP has all documents in this regard, Parida claimed.

“There were media reports that Kanti Kumbhar, who had been elected as the chairperson of Dhanakauda block in Sambalpur district in 1997, is now working as a migrant labourer in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The BJP leader alleged that the BJD government in Odisha has failed to create adequate job opportunities for the youths of the state despite its long stint in power.

“Thousands of Odia youths from each and every districts of Odisha are migrating to other states for earning livelihood. However, BJD government does not keep any record in this regard just to save its skin on the issue,” Parida alleged.

Notably, the Labour Minister had told the Assembly that a total of 40,088 labourers from Odisha have migrated to other states for jobs.

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