Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 9:
Ruling BJD MP Pinaki Mishra today made a frontal attack on the BJP for the unabated farmer suicides in Odisha.
While admitting that farmers in the state were committing suicide due to debt burden, the BJD MP from Puri alleged that the farmers had taken loans from money lenders most of whom owed allegiance to the saffron party.
Elaborating on the modus operandi of the money lenders after his meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Mishra told reporters here today that money lenders were charging farmers a whopping 36% interest per annum which stands at 3% a month. He further alleged that these money lenders who owe allegiance to the BJP were pressurizing the farmers to repay their loans forcing them to take the extreme step.
“Farmers are committing suicide due to debt burden. People from the BJP are running money lending business in the state. They are charging interest to farmers’ at rates as high as 36% per annum which stands at 3% per month. These money lenders are forcing farmers to repay the dues and that is why farmers are committing suicides. Money lending needs to be curbed. I have requested the Chief Minister to take urgent steps in this regard,” said Mishra.
“I have requested the Chief Minister to direct the new DGP to collect information on those involved in money lending business and action against them. I am sure the police should have information on those involved in money lending,” the Puri MP stated.
Reacting to the BJD MP’s remarks, senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi said: “The BJD is making a desperate bid to cover up its own follies. It’s not clear who is saying what in the BJD on farmer suicides. While Excise Minister Damodar Rout has said that farmers do not commit suicide, MP Nagendra Pradhan has said farmers were committing suicides due to crop loss. Now MP Pinaki Mishra has alleged that BJP was involved in money lending. His allegation is completely baseless. It is the BJP which right from the beginning has been saying that money lending was behind farmer suicides. Now it is BJD which is saying the same thing.”
Sarangi further said that his party pays no importance to Mishra’s comments.