Opposition preparing to attack Odisha government during budget session

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Bhubaneswar, March 13 (IANS) The budget session of the Odisha assembly — beginning on March 15 — is expected to see the opposition Congress and the BJP raising issues like irregularities in distribution of ration cards and the alleged nexus of ruling BJD leaders with criminals.

The BJD said it was ready to counter the opposition by raising the issue of low central grants.

“We will raise issues affecting the common people. While law and order has deteriorated, several BJD leaders have links with criminals. Besides, the potato crisis and farmer issues will be raised in the budget session,” said BJP president and legislative party leader Basant Panda.

Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra of the Congress said irregularities in distribution of ration cards under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), and law and order problems would be raised.

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The government said it was ready to discuss any issue raised by the opposition.

“We are ready to discuss the issues to be raised by the opposition parties. The party (BJD) will finalise its strategy in a meeting on Monday,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh.

Government chief whip Ananta Das said Odisha’s share in devolution of funds was reduced by the 14th Finance Commission even though it increased the overall share of states from 32 percent to 42 percent.

The BJD would also come up with issues like failure of the central government to curb price rise, demand of special category status for Odisha and no central assistance for celebrating the birth centenary year of late former chief minister Biju Patnaik.

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