Banki (Odisha) [India], Jan 21 (ANI): Calling Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik “corrupt”, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has accused Patnaik of trying to mislead people in name of KALIA scheme.

Speaking to ANI on Sunday here, Pradhan said: “Naveen Patnaik is trying to mislead people in the name of KALIA scheme; farmers are not getting any benefits from it. He is a corrupt chief minister.”

However, while reacting on Pradhan’s criticism on KALIA scheme, Odisha Minister Pratap Jena informed the Union Minister that the scheme was been appreciated by 15th Finance Commission’s Chairman and eminent agriculturists.

Jena also called Pradhan an “incompetent, arrogant and failure as a minister”.

“This scheme has been appreciated by 15th Finance Commission’s Chairman and eminent agriculturists like Ashok Gulati. Mr Pradhan is incompetent, arrogant and failure as a minister,” the Odisha Minister said.

The Odisha government launched Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme on December 31 last year to expedite growth in the agriculture sector and reduce poverty. Under this scheme, Rs 10,180 crore will be spent over three years until 2020-21 to provide assistance to cultivators and landless agricultural labourers.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said, “This scheme covers 92 per cent of cultivators; those who have taken farm loans, non-loanee farmers, sharecroppers, and landless agriculture labourers.” (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.