Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday met the family members of a Khurda man who committed suicide after allegedly being unable to get a pucca house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious housing scheme. Dharmendra Pradhan said he is extremely shattered and disappointed to hear about the suicide committed by the youth of Khurda district, which is around 25 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. The deceased has been identified as Laxmidhar Behera of Nirakarpur area.
Before committing suicide, the deceased had shot a video of himself highlighting the corruption in various government schemes. In the video, he is heard describing how local block officials visited his house and demanded Rs 15,000-20,000 bribe to allot a house in his name under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The deceased is also hearing saying that his family could not afford the bribe money due to poor economic conditions of his family. Pradhan accused the Odisha government-led by Naveen Patnaik of ignoring people’s concerns and promoting corruption in the state. He said Laxmidhar’s death was not a suicide but a government-sponsored murder.
Pradhan said it is unfortunate that a poor committed suicide for failing to give bribe to Biju Janata Dal agents. Hitting out at BJD governmental corruption in the state, Pradhan said the commission culture has grown strongly in Odisha under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik. People in Odisha don’t get their done without giving bribe to government officials, the minister said.
During PM Modi’s recent visit to the state, the victim had asked him about the root cause of corruption. PM Modi had addressed a massive rally in Khurda on December 24.