Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, Sep 10:
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today embarked on ‘Save Farmers’ march from Debahal in Odisha’s Bargarh district to highlight the farmers’ suicides in the state.
Prior to that, Rahul Gandhi met families of those farmers who have committed suicide in the western Odisha village.
As per reports, at least seven debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide in the recent past due to crop loss and failing to repay loans.
After meeting the families of distressed farmers, Rahul addressed a gathering at Debahal and hit out at the Centre and the state government.
“The farmers are the backbone of our country and the Union government is neglecting their issues. The Congress party has always been behind the farmers and poor people. I assure all possible help to them,” the Congress vice president said.
The Gandhi scion attacked the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for the Land Acquisition Bill, terming it as pro-corporates. Besides, it also hit out at the BJD government for the farmers’ suicides in the state.
“The government wants to usurp the land of farmers of poor people and give it to corporate. Whereas, the Congress has always pursued pro-poor policies,” he added.
On the first day of Rahul’s two-day visit to state, he began the 7 km padyatra from Debahal to Attabira. He is slated to interact with tribal and women farmers and listen to their problems during the march.
Notably, several districts in Odisha are facing drought-like situation in view of erratic rainfall this monsoon. Over 100 of 314 blocks across the state have been badly affected due to deficit rainfall in the past three months.
It may be recalled that a special team of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by its state unit president KV Singhdeo had visited western Odisha districts to assess the drought situation. During their three-day visit they visited Bolangir, Boudh, Sonepur, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts where monsoon has played truant.
The team also comprised of party’s legislative party leader Basant Panda, party’s state vice-president Prithviraj Harichandan, state secretary Bhrugu Buxipatra and Krushak Morcha president Mahesh Sahu. The team would submit its report to the party today and discuss it further course of action.