Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 26:
Launching a scathing attack on the state government over the unabated farmer suicides across Odisha, the opposition BJP today termed the drought package announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as “faulty” and “full of discrepancies”.
“The drought package announced by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently is faulty and full of discrepancies as it has failed to stop farmer suicides. This reflects that the BJD government is not at all serious about mitigating the plight of drought-hit and debt-ridden farmers,” senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra told reporters here at a press conference.
The saffron party alleged that the state government was aware of the impending drought situation. But, it failed to draw exigency plan to tackle the situation which gave rise to series of farmer suicides.
The state government announced the drought package only after the Central team visited the drought-hit areas in the state. Why have the incidents of farmer suicides have increased after the announcement of the package? Mohapatra asked.
“Farmer suicide continued to rise even after the package was announced on October 14. Around 36-40 farmers have committed suicide in last 90 days.”
The senior BJP leader came down heavily on the state government over delay in bringing necessary amendments to Odisha Land Reforms (OLR) Act and sitting over the Farmers’ Commission report.
“The current drought situation is grim and the farmer suicides are getting ugly with each passing day. The incidents of suicides has created a state of fear, despondency and depressing in the minds of the people of Odisha,” Mohapatra said.
Reacting on expected lines, state Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathi said: “The Centre has not announced any financial assistance package till now. The package announced by the state government will reach the drought-hit farmers after the state government receives the report by November end or December first.”