Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 23:
Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal today sought clarification from Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan over the donkey remark he made during the Bargarh farmers’ convention last Sunday.
“Pradhan said that the numbers of cows and buffaloes have gone down but the numbers of donkeys have gone up. There is no donkey farming in the state. What exactly did he mean when he said the population of donkeys have gone up? Is he taking a jibe at someone or is he calling the people of the state donkeys? We want a clarification from Pradhan over the remark,” said BJD Spokesperson Pratap Deb speaking to reporters today.
BJD’s motor-mouth Damodar Rout was quick to take a jibe at Pradhan and his party BJP over the issue.
Upon being asked by journalists if Pradhan was referring to BJD as donkeys, Rout shot back – “I can’t call him a donkey in retaliation, but I won’t deny if he thinks their (BJP) growth and the growth in donkey numbers in the state coincides”.
Even though Pradhan was not available to clarify what he meant, BJP’s Prithiviraj Harichandan explained that Pradhan’s statement was aimed at the incompetence of the State Government that denied farmer suicide in the state even though more than 270 farmers died.
On the other hand, BJP Spokesperson Sajjan Sharma clarified that the Union Minister was merely presenting facts and numbers from his meeting with Union Agriculture Minister and there is nothing more to it.
Notably, addressing the farmers during the Bargarh convention last Sunday, Dharmendra had said, “As per a review by the Union Agriculture Minister, the population of cows have come down, the population of buffaloes have come down, but if there has been a spike — it is in the numbers of donkeys. This is as per the statistics of the Odisha Government and the Union Government”.