House ruckus over funding for model schools

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly, Thursday, witnessed heated exchanges between the BJP and the treasury benches on the controversial remarks made by the Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Pradipta Kumar Naik.

The leader during his speech in the House had told the gathering that the state government has been diverting the funds accrued from interests earned from the Central government’s funds. The leader accused the state government of not utilising central funds and letting the people of the state to struggle.

He claimed that the state has been diverting the interest earned from the central government funds to assist the Adarsh vidyalayas in the state. With the remarks the fumed BJD legislators attacked Naik for misleading the House sans facts.

BJD Leader Pradip Kumar Amat said that the Union government is not giving funds for Adarsh schools in the state. Another BJP leader also fired salvos at the leader of opposition and asked him to talk responsibly on the issue.

Barchana MLA Amar Satpathy (BJD) demanded Naik to put forth facts to substantiate his claims.

Another senior BJD legislator Bhupinder Singh also stood up and accused the BJP leader of misleading the House on the matter. The war of words continued for a few minutes before the Speaker intervened in the matter.

Naik, however, said he has facts to make such statements. “I am not misleading the House. I have papers with me. As a leader of Opposition I am taking with full responsibility. It is a fact that the state is not spending central funds.”

The Speaker, however, also asked Naik to bring more truth and evidence on the charges made by him in the House. “You need to talk responsibly as the Leader of Opposition as the statement will go into official records. If you have supportive facts, do furnish it. If not now, take time and submit the evidence backing your statement,” Speaker S N Patro told Naik.

Later, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said that there was no truth on the claim and that such schools run on state government funds. He claimed that for Adarsh schools a total of Rs 400 crore has been allocated in 2020-21 Budget. He claimed that Naik lacked data on the issue.

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