Jual Oram

Odisha govt targeting tribal districts to gain vote percentage: Oram

Bhubaneswar: Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Saturday attacked the Odisha government, which has constituted Special Development Council covering nine districts with the tribal population in the state.

Since the performance of ruling BJD in tribal-dominated districts was poor during last Panchayat polls, the State Government has targeted such districts to gain its vote percentage, he alleged.

The central government under the Central grant and tribal sub-plan have granted Rs 57321.98 lakh and Rs 53125.79 lakh to Odisha respectively during last four financial years, said Oram.

“It is regrettable that these funds have not been utilised for development works to benefit tribal people. The special grant given by the Centre to States under Article 275 is intended for developmental works pertaining to Tribals. But the fund in Odisha is diverted to 117 blocks covering 2225 GPs to promote BJD party programme in the State,” alleged Oram.

He accused the State Government of ignoring the elected panchayat members who represent the tribal population in these scheduled areas.

What is the meaning of their development without their representatives’ participation in the formulation of policy for them, questioned the Central Minister.

“Eleven Ekalavya Model Schools have been allotted to Odisha so far, but there is no sign of any progress whatsoever in Odisha in even for a single model school. 16Ekalavya Model Residential Schools has been granted in Odisha in last 5 years but there is no progress due to total indifference of the State Government,” said the Minister.

Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched the special development council for the development of nine tribal dominated districts.

The state government would provide Rs 1.5 crore as grant-in-aid to each block of the nine districts (total 117 blocks) which is over and above the funds allotted under different schemes. A total of Rs 175 crore will be spent per annum through these councils.