Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 31:
Farmer suicides in the state continued to remain the central theme on the Day-2 of the second phase ‘Jagran Padyatra’ as Congress leaders took out a rally from Narasingh Guda to Tentulikhunti in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district today.
Leaders who walked through the 9 km stretch with PCC President Prasad Harichandan include Pradeep Majhi, Bhakta Charan Das, Chandrasekhar Sahu, DCC President Narayan Patra, Mahila Congress President Sashmita Behera, Mohd Moquim among hundreds of other party workers.
Earlier in the day, a ‘Sarvadharma Prarthana Sabha’ was held at Narasinghaguda to pay tribute to Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.
Quite like yesterday, top Congress leaders including PCC President Prasad Harichandan, AICC General Secretary BK Hariprasad, Secretary Subhankar Sarkar, Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati and former Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi met the family members of deceased farmer Baga Paik of Purnapani village.
“Burdened by loan, Baga Paik committed suicide two days ago following massive crop loss due to scanty rainfall. He hanged himself from a banyan tree on the outskirts of the village. Forget providing compensation, the government has not even sympathised with the bereaved family. He had taken Rs 70,000 loan from Gramya Bank through his father-in-law. Besides, he took loans from various micro finance organisations including Adhikar and Asmita. The government package announced recently failed to stop him from committing suicide,” said Harichandan.
The ruling BJD, however, refuted the charge and instead termed the allegation to be a political move by Congress to save its base.
“Congress has nothing else to do apart from politics. They have taken out the Jan Jagran Padyatra to rebuild their support base as the party had been completely forgotten by people,” said BJD spokesperson and Nimapara MLA Samir Das.
“The Government is doing everything possible to provide relief to the farmers in the drought-affected areas and have announced drought package and waiver of water cess. We are also providing support for the next season of crops to the affected farmers,” he added.