Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 25:
Union Tribal Affairs Minister and Senior BJP leaders Jual Oram today announced to meet Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to discuss Odisha drought situation.
Speaking to reporters today Oram criticized the State Government for its inaction to assure the farmers affected by drought and committing suicide.
“The problem is not the lack of central assistance. Instead, the problem is State Government’s failure to assure the farmers and its officers’ failure to reach the affected farmers and stand by them. This is why the farmers are committing suicide,” said Oram.
“Even though the government denied the allegation of farmer suicide in the state, it indirectly confessed to it. The government admitted that the farmers had taken loans from cooperatives and other institutions. We have long been saying that the farmers committed suicide due to their inability to pay back the loans,” he added speaking about the farmer suicides in the state and the recent government report that denied any such death.
Further, he had a word of caution for the government and advised them to take the drought and farmer suicide seriously instead of politicizing the issue.
“They need to meet the farmers and discuss the issue with them to come up with a solution. Holding Chasi Samabesh won’t help the cause,” he said taking a dig at the recent mega farmers’ rally organised by BJD.
Ruling BJD Spokesperson Amar Satapathy, however, refuted the charges and highlighted the steps the State Government has been taking to handle the drought situation.
“The government is doing its job with sincerity. The farmers who have suffered damaged crops would be compensated. We are also facilitating all possible help for Rabi crops and encouraging alternate crops that can be cultivated apart from paddy. The government has taken a number of steps to address the drought situation. We are taking long term steps instead of short term aid,” said Satapathy.