Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 6:
With drought situation worsening and farmer suicide spiraling, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik yesterday asked his party MPs, MLAs and District Presidents to go to the drought-hit villages of the state to spread awareness about the government schemes among the masses.
Clearly in a back foot over relentless protests during the tours of ministers to various districts and vehement opposition attack, the government is worried that the farmer vote bank might slip away from party fold.
To avoid the inevitable, Naveen wrote a three page letter to the MPs, MLAs and District Presidents of BJD asking them to tour the villages and meet the farmers to educate them about the welfare programmes of the government. Besides, he has asked the party leaders to take the farmers to government officials of all types starting from BDOs to the collectors to ensure faster solution to their issues.
Long considered inaccessible to party office bearers, Patnaik, in the letter, has offered his help and agreed to intervene as and when required. He also has asked the top leaders to include party leaders and elected officials across ranks to be made part of this campaign.
The Chief Minister, who never visited the family members of any farmer who committed suicide this year, went on to blame the opposition parties for the farmer agitations and accused them of politicizing the issue as they could not find any meaningful issue against the government.
Further, he went on to accuse that instead of cooperative with the government to tackle the situation, the opposition parties are trying to paint any suicide in the state as farmer suicide. While the government is trying to empower the farmers of the state, the opposition is provoking them to choose a confrontational method by presenting twisted facts, he wrote in his letter.
Notably, the Chief Minister had recently ordered his Ministers and Secretaries to visit district headquarters in the first week of every month to review the progress of various projects. The ministers, however, are running into muddy waters every single day on their tours to districts.
While Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, Sports Minister Sudam Marandi, School & Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigrahy and Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das have so far been shown black flags on their tours, eggs were pelted at Maharathy and Mishra.