Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16:
Barely two days after the Odisha government announced a compensation package for the drought affected farmers in the state, the Opposition parties—Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—today lambasted the government for its delayed action and demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of deceased farmers.
The Opposition parties launched a scathing attack on the government with the number of farmers’ suicide increasing by each passing day reportedly due to loan burden and bad crops arising out of erratic rainfall this kharif season.
In two separate press conferences held here today, the Congress and the BJP criticised the state government over the compensation package announced two days ago and demanded an enhanced relief for them.
“We propose the state government to take an all-party delegation to the Centre to demand compensation package for the farmers. If the state government is quiet fearing CBI inquiry, then we are ready to take the matter to the Centre and fight for the farmers. We have conducted ‘Jagaran Yatra’ and farmer rallies in the interest of the farmers. The state government should demand special package from Center for affected farmers in the state. Till now, there has been 60 percent deficit rainfall. The state government should provide interest free loans or at as low as 1 percent to the farmers. Besides, it should give compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family members of the deceased,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan said.
“We demand loan waiver and interest-free loans to the farmers in the drought-hit areas. If the chief minister has an iota of compassion for the deceased farmers, then he should announce compensation of at least Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased farmers from the chief minister’s relief fund (CMRF),” senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan said.
The chief minister should call for an all-party meeting to discuss the crisis situation as it is a problem of all. We would suggest ways to tackle the situation, Harichandan added.
It may be mentioned that the state government on Wednesday had announced a drought package of Rs 1,000 crore to tackle the situation. As many as 123 blocks in 16 districts of the state have been worst-hit due to scanty rainfall.