Republican Party of India president and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to consider rejoining the NDA for the development of Odisha.
Speaking to mediapersons here, Athawale said Patnaik was in NDA when he started his political career.
“Now, he is coming to power in Odisha from his own strength, which is good. If he joins the NDA, he would get more benefits,” said the union minister.
“Even though Naveen ji is not in the NDA, we are getting support of his party (BJD) while passing Bills in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If he will join the NDA, he may get more benefits. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may give more budgetary support for the development of Odisha,” said Athawale.
Briefing about implementation of various central schemes in Odisha, he said the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, through Ambedkar Foundation, is providing Rs 2.5 lakh for inter-caste marriages while the Odisha government too has a similar scheme but there is a need to promote it on a higher scale.
During 2020-21, 1,847 inter-caste marriages were registered in Odisha which rose to 2,428 in the year 2021-22, he said.
The minister further said that Odisha has registered 2,828 cases of atrocities in 2020-21 and 2,768 cases during 2021-22, adding: “The Centre and the state need to work in coordination to stop the cases of atrocities.”
Athawale said that in Odisha, around 20 lakh Divyangs, elderly and widows are receiving pensions worth Rs 500 a month.
“We need to increase the amount of pension for the beneficiaries,” he said.